Class of 2016 Inductees
The World Boxing Council Legends of Boxing Museum (WBC LBM) celebrated their newest honorees at the 2016 Induction Ceremony held earlier this month at the American Sports University in San Bernardino, Calif.
I’d like to personally thank the WBC LBM team for my award at the weekend ceremony where I, along with my fellow inductees, received this special honor at this annual awards show. The Class of 2016 Inductees are: Israel Vazquez, Joel Casamayor, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Librado Andrade, Enrique Ornelas, Oscar Muniz, Gene Aguilera, Michele Chong, Dub Huntley, Buddy McGirt, Jimmy Montoya, Ben Delgado and Henry Armstrong.
The WBC LBM is spearheaded by Mauricio Sulaiman, Dr. Harry Whang, Rudy Tellez, Jaime Ochoa, Angel Ochoa, Vinnie Johnson, and their Board of Directors. The group has built an intriguing boxing museum on the university grounds; the building is packed with rare artifacts and memorabilia from the sweet science.
On December 3, the newest inductees took to the stage to receive their enshrinement in boxing history. Each individual has contributed to the fight game, whether it be in or out of the ring. The holiday bash included a Mexican buffet lunch, live entertainment with singing performances from trainer Clemente Medina (“El Duque”), Larry Covin (CoCo Productions), and Jermaine Johnson (USAF).
There were film clips, a “Ten Count” tribute for founding WBC LBM Board Member Eric Casillas (accepted by his brother Andres Casillas) and former champ Bobby Chacon (accepted by Mike Donohue), heartfelt speeches by the inductees in attendance, and a post-awards gathering inside the boxing museum.
Over 250 guests enjoyed meeting their boxing heroes, who donated items to be displayed in the SoCal museum.
There were many local champs and out of town luminaries who also joined the festivities including fighters Paul Banke, Alex Ramos, Emanuel Medina, Mike Anchondo, Jairo Ochoa, Marvin Cabrera, Mando Muniz, boxing officials Benjamin Rendon, Monique Rendon, Leo Ibarra, the WBC’s Edmundo Hernandez, Hall of Fame trainer Thell Torrence, trainer/sculptor Steve Harpst, Retired Boxers Foundation’s Jacquie Richardson, the National Boxing Hall of Fame’s Bill and Linda Young, the Henry Armstrong Foundation’s Edward and Kimberly Scott, historian David Martinez, Carol Steindler (daughter of Howie Steindler) and many more.
The WBC sanctioning body–known for their green and gold championship belts–is also at the forefront with the WBC, NABF and also the WBC Cares organization which helps the youth and teens worldwide. The late Don Jose Sulaiman was a longtime President of the WBC; now his sons Mauricio Sulaiman and Pepe Sulaiman continue in their father’s legacy. And during this year’s WBC Legends of Boxing Museum awards, the day featured video accolades from the WBC’s Pepe Sulaiman, Jill Diamond, etc.
Each new inductee received beautiful gold WBC medallions (“My Blood Is Green, My Heart Is Gold”), commemorative T-shirts which each honoree’s name on it (Sombra Apparel), an induction plaque with a list of their achievements, and satin boxing trunks that were autographed by each recipient (to be installed in the museum at a later date).
The guests of honor were surrounded by their loving families, supportive friends and excited fans.
It was a great day catching up with my boxing pals. Beloved champs like Israel Vazquez and Daniel Ponce De Leon may have retired from boxing but both are still ringside as popular commentators on TV broadcasts and also currently train fighters too. Brothers Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas also had a large group of fans in the audience. Andrade currently trains fighters in Vegas; both bros said they were truly honored to receive this award. I also enjoyed seeing the Rendon family, who traveled from Mexico to be part of the day. The father and daughter team of Benjamin Rendon and Monique Rendon have long been part of the WBC familia and this December gathering was an extra special one as Monique brought her new baby Mikel to the awards luncheon.
And the WBC LBM crew stressed that the boxing community IS like a family–the bonds made through boxing everlasting.
Their yearly ceremony cements a selected group of honorees to be enshrined in their WBC Legends of Boxing Museum.
Congratulations to all the 2016 Inductees!
Photos by Michele Chong and Monique Rendon
Calling All Boxing Fans
Boxing Fans, It's Edgar, Founder & Publisher of MyBoxingFans.com, and I personally want to ask you to subscribe to our email newsletter its completely Free! Just enter your name and email below: