(Courtesy of the Nevada Boxing HOF)
An illustrious cast of boxing legends were inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame today at the Fernando Vargas Fighting Foundation in Las Vegas. The 8th Annual Induction Weekend happens August 7th & 8th, 2020 at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 2020 Induction Class includes:
Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas (26-5, 22 KO’s)
Las Vegas resident Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas is a multiple-time champion who won his first title when he fought and defeated Yory Boy Campas. Vargas would go on to battle “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, Winky Wright, and Felix “Tito” Trinidad to name a few.
Clarence “Bones” Adams (44-7-4, 20 KOs)
Las Vegas boxing trainer and world champion, Clarence “Bones” Adams. Known for his all-action style, Adams captured the WBA super bantamweight world title March 4, 2000, at the Mandalay Bay with his big win over Nestor Garza. Throughout his career, Adams also had memorable fights with the likes of Kevin Kelley and back to back wars with world champion Paulie Ayala.
Andre “SOG” Ward (32-0, 16 KOs)
The last male fighter to capture US Gold in Olympic Boxing and arguably one of the greatest American boxers in the history of the sport, Andre “SOG” Ward can now add the title of Hall of Famer to his resume. Ward held multiple titles in two separate weight classes including the unified WBA, WBC, and Ring Magazine Lineal Light Heavyweight Title. Ward ended his professional career undefeated beating the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Mikkel Kessler, Chad Dawson, and Carl Froch.
James “Lights Out” Toney (77-10-3, 47 KOs)
Fighting nearly 100 professional bouts in his career while never being stopped, James “Lights Out” Toney will be inducted into the 2020 NVBHOF class. Toney who fought in Nevada fourteen times had numerous memorable wins beating big names such Evander Holyfield, Iran Barkley, Micheal Nunn, and Vissiliy Jirov and took on several others including Roy Jones Jr. and John Ruiz respectfully while being named Ring Magazine fighter of the year in 1991 and 2003.
Miguel Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs)
Puerto Rico’s first four-division world champion, Miguel Cotto’s tremendous work history in the squared circle is second to none and joins this year’s star-studded NVBHOF class. Cotto known for being a true boxer-puncher fought everyone including Canelo, Floyd Mayweather, Sergio Martinez, Chop-Chop Corley, Manny Pacquiao, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley throughout his journey in the sport.
Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson (44-5-1, 28 KOs)
The first African American fighter to capture a World Flyweight Title, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson is a familiar name in boxing community as Johnson won titles at flyweight and super flyweights defeating the likes of Fernando and Alejandro Montiel. Johnson captured his first title after stopping Francisco Tejedor in the 1st round of their championship fight in Anaheim, May 4th, 1996.
Julian “The Hawk” Jackson (55-6, 49 KOs)
Known as “The Hawk” Julian Jackson has held world titles in the jr. middleweight and middleweight divisions and has been considered one of the hardest punchers in the history of the sport. Fighting 18-times in Nevada, Jackson quickly became a local favorite but is most recognized for his knockout victories over “Terrible” Terry Norris and the UK “Bomber” Herol Graham.
Azumah “The Professor” Nelson (39-6-2, 28 KOs)
Arguably one of the greatest fighters to ever come out of Africa and undoubtedly Ghana’s top pound for pound fighter of all time, Azumah “The Professor” Nelson made his splash in the boxing world when he was called in as a late substitute, and gave the legendary world champion Salvador Sanchez all he could handle before being stopped in the 15th and final round of their 1982 world title fight. Nelson would go on to stun and stop Wilfredo Gomez, to take Gomez’s WBC featherweight title. Throughout his legendary career, Nelson would have wars with the likes of Jeff Fenech, Jesse James Leija, and Gabriel Ruelas.
Danny “Little Red” Lopez (42-6, 39 KOs)
A huge favorite in Southern California and regularly fighting at the Olympic Auditorium and, later, the Forum, “Little Red” Lopez packed dynamite in his gloves. Lopez won his first 21 fights in a row by knockout and during his career took on the likes of the great Bobby Chacon, Sean O’Grady and fought back to back matches with the legendary Salvador Sanchez. Lopez captured his first featherweight title in the fall of 1976 in front of over 100,000 screaming fans in Ghana, Africa, as he defeated WBC World Champion David Kotey.
Jose Luis Castillo (66-13-1, 57 KOs)
A true Mexican warrior Jose Luis Castillo climbed through the ropes of rings in his home country for the first ten years of his career. In September 2000, Castillo surprised Steve Johnston winning a majority decision to claim the WBC lightweight title. Castillo had memorable fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Lazcano, and Joel Casamayor but will always be remembered with his wars with the great Diego “Chico” Corrales.
Non-Boxer Inductees includes,
Carlos Padilla- Earned high marks as the 3rd man in Ali-Frazier “Thrilla in Manila” after which he migrated to Las Vegas. He worked as a bartender at Caesar’s Palace and became a top-ranked international referee. Among the renowned boxers he was able to officiate were Lennard, Duran, Hagler, Arguello, Tyson, Holyfield, Holmes, Spinks, Foreman and other champions.
Lorenzo Fertitta- Commissioner with the Nevada State Athletic Commission from 1996 to 2000, a particular tumultuous era for the NSAC inasmuch as it included the Tyson Holyfield “Bite Fight” and subsequent investigations. Chairman of the Red Rock Casino, former CEO of the UFC, and philanthropist. Graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and huge supporter of all sports in Nevada including Boxing.
Sammy Macias- Former Chairman of and a Commissioner with the Nevada Athletic Commission, member of the Board of Governors and Continental Americas Championship Chairman for the WBC, President and a long time Executive Board member of the NABF, boxer, promoter and judge. Macias wrote many of the rules of modern day boxing which are still in use today.
Jose Sulaiman- President of the WBC for over 40 years. He established the Jose Sulaiman Boxer Fund that is administered by a Nevada Community Trust that has helped hundreds of fighters financially on an annual basis. Humanitarian that has helped many people around the world with his WBC Cares organization. Sulaiman is a boxing Icon that has helped change the sport of boxing in many areas in and outside of the ring.
Also being recognized is the 2019 NVBHOF Fighter of the Year, Prospect of the Year and Amateur of the Year. Honoring their accomplishments throughout 2019.
2019 Fighter of the Year – Devin Haney (24-0, 14 KO’s)
Won all 4 bouts in 2019 and became the youngest active world Champion.
2019 Prospect of the Year – Rolando “Rolly” Romero (11-0, 10 KOs)
Won all 4 bouts in spectacular style while demonstrating unlimited potential.
2019 NVBHOF Amateur of the Year – Rahim Gonzales
Top 10 ranked amateur in 3 different weight classes, #1 at 178 and qualified for the US Olympic Team.