By: Sean Crose
Three giants of the sport of boxing: Roy Jones, Miguel Cotto and James Toney, are heading to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in New York. Joining them in the 2022 class will be women’s boxing champion turned UFC star Holly Holm, and legendary women’s boxer Regina Halmich among others.
After a brilliant armature career, Jones entered the world of professional boxing in 1989. During a professional run that lasted close to thirty years, Jones won world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight. So dominant was the Florida native that he was once regarded as the greatest pound for pound fighter ever – an assertion that some continue to stand by, and not without reason. Jones last fought professionally in 2018.
Like Jones, Toney’s career lasted close to thirty years. During that time, Toney won world titles in the middleweight, supermiddleweight, and cruiserweight divisions. Toney, who was unquestionably one of the greatest fighters of his era, last fought professionally in 2017.
Although he never faced off against Jones or Toney, Cotto earned one of the greatest and most well earned reputations of his generation. Cotto started boxing professionally in 2001 and went on to win world titles in the junior welterweight, welterweight, junior middleweight, and middleweight divisions. After fighting pretty much every big name available to him, Cotto finally hung up his gloves after his last fight in 2017.
Holm may be more well known for her exploits in the UFC, but she had previously been a world class boxer, one who won world titles in the lightweight, super lightweight, and welterweight divisions. Her boxing career lasted from 2002 to 2013. As for Halmich, the German fighter has an exceedingly impressive record of 54-1-1 stemming from a career that began in 1994. By the time she retired in 2007, Halmich had won over 45 fights in a row.
Although Jones, Toney, and Cotto were shoe in’s, the fact that they are now going into the Hall is a kind of cherry on the sundae, an indication from the sport of boxing itself that they, along with the likes of Holm and Halmich, have gone above and beyond expectations. “This is an absolutely marvelous feeling,” Yahoo quotes Jones as saying. “I’m so honored that I get this opportunity and I can’t wait to go to Canastota to see it come to fruition.”
Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the class of 2022 will be inducted into the Hall alongside the classes of 2020 and 2021.