2016 Induction Ceremony in Studio City
As this year comes to a close, here’s a look back at one of the most memorable events of 2016.
President Don Fraser and the California Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) presented their annual Induction Ceremonies at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City. The Class of 2016 gathered together in the Empire Room of the famed hotel on October 22. This year’s souvenir program boasted 25 inductees plus a special legend award to Muhammad Ali. Accepting their awards in person were fighters Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez, Mauricio Herrera, Layla McCarter, Jeremy Williams, Robert Shannon, and more.
Inductees included: Gennady Golovkin, Teddy Atlas, Raul Caiz Sr., Raul Caiz Jr., Robert Guerrero, Rene Ramirez, Tom Brown, Mario L’Esperance, Renato Garcia, Jeremy Williams, Mauricio Herrera, Layla McCarter, Zeffie Gonzalez, Robert Shannon, Shibata Flores, Carlos Hernandez, Louie Espinoza, Francisco Flores, Jack Dempsey, Max Baer, Ceferino Garcia, Barney Ross, Allan Malamud, Lou Bernal, Julio Gonzalez plus a “Remember the Legend” award to Muhammad Ali (accepted by Thompson Boxing Promotions’ Ken Thompson).
Emcee Jim FitzGerald manned the mic on stage as he introduced the special guests and awardees as The Denise Fraser Band provided live walkout music.
Many of the honorees came to town to take part in these historic festivities paying tribute to those in and out of the ring.
The CBHOF is always a special day for the fight community; a reunion among those in the boxing circles. The group works hard each and every year to ensure the guests of honor get their due respect and time in the spotlight. CBHOF President/Founder Don Fraser, CBHOF Vice President Rick Resnick, Awards Chairman Linda Young, Legal Advisor Ken Green, Selection Committee Chairman Frank Baltazar, Associate Editor Rene Ramirez and others work tirelessly to present a special day for these chosen individuals.
The speeches were poignant and thoughtful, the mood both joyous and bittersweet (reminiscing about those we’ve lost), and the camaraderie and memories made were priceless. Some of the prizefighters knew each other from their amateur days; other guests hadn’t seen each other in years or had lost touch with one another. This awards luncheon was a golden opportunity to reconnect with each other.
The inductees told me how thankful they were to Don Fraser and the CBHOF; several were moved to tears when accepting their award.
Besides the Class of 2016, there were many familiar faces spotted in the crowd like the “First Lady of Boxing” Jackie Kallen (who introduced me to rising star Oluwafemi “Femi” Oyeleye), boxing promoter Ken Thompson, the Raul Caiz Sr. family (including boxing officials Raul Caiz Jr., Sergio Caiz and Carla Caiz), current and former fighters/champs like Rafael Ruelas, Danny “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Roman, Paul Banke, Mike Anchondo, Ricky Romero, Sue Fox, Javier “Pitbull” Rodriguez, Albert Herrera and large group of Team Herrera (there to cheer on inductee Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera), trainers Eddie Gonzalez, John Bray and Ruben Guerrero, trainer/sculptor Steve Harpst, TGB Promotions’ Brittany Goossen Brown, the Main Street Gym’s Carol Steindler, National Boxing Hall of Fame’s Bill and Linda Young, author/historian Gene Aguilera, boxing official Fritz Werner, author/timekeeper Mike North, etc.
The spectators said they enjoyed seeing their heroes in person and the champs had a blast meeting the fans. Here are some of my snapshots from the 2016 California Boxing Hall of Fame.
Congrats again to all the new inductees!
Photos by Michele Chong
Profile on 2016 Inductees Raul Caiz Sr. and Raul Caiz Jr.:
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