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BOXING PERSONALITIES COMMENT ON THE CLASS OF 2007


On The Class of 2007

“The Class of 2007 is stupendous. It is very rich in talent and all-time heroes.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“The new class of inductees is fantastic. There is so much talent there.”

- Arthur Mercante, 1995 Hall of Fame Inductee

“The class of inductees really gives people a taste of the international aspect of boxing. It's fantastic.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“2007 is going to be a very exciting year. Just listening to the names that are going to be inducted is really exciting to me.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion


On Roberto Duran

“Roberto Duran was an aggressive and ring-wise lightweight who ranks with the greatest lightweights of all time. With is ability and heartiness he was able to invade the heavier weight divisions and provide excitement.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Duran was a warrior. Extremely aggressive, he feared no one. A great, great fighter, Duran is absolutely deserving of being in the Hall of Fame.”

- Arthur Mercante, 1995 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Forget about it! He's a legend and belongs up there with the greatest lightweights of all time. He was a complete fighter. He can beat you with strength, he could out-smart you. He did so much and he made it look easy.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Roberto Duran is very deserving of this honor. Inside the ring he did everything that was asked of him and more. When you talk about boxing, Roberto Duran is the man. I love Roberto Duran as a person and as a fighter. He's a great, great champion. He gave everybody the opportunity to fight him and he absolutely ruled the lightweight division.”

- Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, five-division world champion

“He was a fighter who everyone in the boxing world admired and really looked up to because of his courage and determination. For fighters, including myself, he was the type of person one could look up to because of his aggressiveness in the ring.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion

"Roberto Duran is without question a legend! This amazing champion is by far one of the toughest opponents that I faced in the ring and one of the greatest fighters of all time.  It was an honor fighting someone of his caliber, and I offer heartfelt congratulations to my friend, Roberto.  Welcome!"

- Sugar Ray Leonard, 1997 Hall of Fame Inductee


On Ricardo Lopez

“Text book style boxer, he could be the best small flyweight of all time. He had a sterling career and ring record. He combined science and power to achieve his goals and his undefeated record speaks for itself.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“I refereed his last fight at Madison Square Garden, which, incidentally, was my last fight as a referee. Lopez is acknowledged as one of the greatest fighters of all time because of the number of title defenses and his undefeated record. He was a brilliant fighter and very dedicated to the sport.”

- Arthur Mercante, 1995 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Mr. Excitement. Fans always left happy after seeing Ricardo Lopez fight. Like many of the other great Mexican fighters, he was a great left hook artist.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Probably one of the best technicians that boxing has ever had. Ricardo demonstrated to the boxing public what boxing was all about – hit and not get hit. He will always be one of the all-time greats. Even though he was in one of the smaller weight classes, he was a giant when it came to fighting in the ring.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion


On Pernell Whitaker

“He ruled two classic weight divisions. He was the quintessential lightweight and welterweight of his time. A great strategist with plenty of skill, he could turn the power on when needed.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“He's a great fighter. There's no question he belongs in the Hall of Fame.”

- Arthur Mercante, 1995 Hall of Fame Inductee

“He was a guy you couldn't hit! He offset a lot of great fighters. Pernell Whitaker was a really great fighter.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“I love Pernell Whitaker. He's a part of my family. If anybody deserves to be inducted into the Hall, it's Pernell Whitaker. He was one of a kind in the ring. He could do it all. His style reminds you of Willie Pep. He could make you miss, he's in front of you and then all of a sudden he's behind you and you wouldn't know what you were swinging at!"

- Lou Duva, 1998 Hall of Fame Inductee & Pernell Whitaker's co-trainer

“The slickest boxer ever to step inside the squared circle. Pernell Whitaker was a boxer who was always willing to go up against anyone. He was very confident fighter when he stepped inside that ring and I don't think there will ever be anyone like him again.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion


On Amilcar Brusa

“Brusa is a very experienced teacher and trainer. Mainly responsible for the development of middleweight champion Carlos Monzon, he handled several other world champions after Monzon. He did a very effective job as a teacher of the art and was a great conditioner as well.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“He's a great one. I've known him forever and I respect him. To me he was a great trainer.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“One of our all-time great trainers that the sport has had the privilege of having. Still today a lot of champions look for his guidance and expertise. He will always be considered one of the great trainers to be involved in the sport of boxing.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion


On Jose Sulaiman

“Charismatic and a great administrator and great organizer. A compassionate leader, he should be credited with introducing safety and welfare programs for boxers.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Believe me, Jose Sulaiman is one of the great contributors to boxing. Jose deserves all the credit in the world for doing such a magnificent job with the WBC and creating new rules and regulations, particularly in the area of boxers' safety. I highly respect Jose Sulaiman.”

- Arthur Mercante, 1995 Hall of Fame Inductee

“Jose Sulaiman is something special. He really dearly loves the sport. He's a very fine man and I'm pleased to say he's a friend of boxing. Jose is a pioneer in regulating whatever was good for boxing. Anything that was good for boxing, he was involved in.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“He has changed boxing for the betterment of the sport. He introduced 12 rounds instead of 15. He's always looking out for the safety of the fighters. The WBC is the belt that many, if not all fighters, want to have. He has done a lot of good for the sport and is well deserving of this recognition.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion


On LeRoy Neiman

“One of the truly great artists who was able to convey his message of the boxing art to ring fans in a common language which is known all over the world. His tools were his paintbrush, his colors and his art.”

- Hank Kaplan, 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee

“LeRoy Neiman added a new dimension to the sport of boxing through his artwork. He definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”

- Arthur Mercante, 1995 Hall of Fame Inductee

“What a great asset he is. This guy loves boxing so much and his paintings project this. When he draws a picture you can see the exact motion of the individual he's painting. He's one of the geniuses of our time. People collect his art because he has such an insight into the artistry of boxing.”

- Angelo Dundee, 1992 Hall of Fame Inductee

“LeRoy Neiman has done most of my covers for my fights. He always adds an extra element to a fight. Whenever you have him doing a cover or painting a portrait of that particular fight, you know it's going to be a big fight. LeRoy Neiman has been very influential when it comes to these big events in boxing.”

- Oscar De La Hoya, six-division world champion
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