Arturo Gatti has been inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The two-division champion headlines a class of inductees that includes five-time champion Virgil Hill, two-time light flyweight champion Myung-Woo Yuh, referee Mills Lane, ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr., and journalist Colin Hart, the Hall of Fame announced on Monday.
Gatti’s candidacy had been a subject of vociferous debate among boxing insiders, a question of his limited credentials versus undeniable entertainment value.
“It is the biggest honor that’s ever been bestowed upon me,” said Hill in a statement. “It’s more than winning the five world titles and the Olympic silver medal. It’s the biggest thing — outside of my children and wife — that’s ever happened to me.”
Other inductees from the 2013 include lightweight Wesley Ramey and middleweight Jeff Smith in the Old-Timer Category (posthumous), manager Arturo “Cuyo” Hernandez in the non-participant category (posthumous); cartoonist Ted Carroll in the observer category (posthumous); and Joe Coburn in the pioneer category (posthumous).
This year’s class will be enshrined on June 9 in Canastota, N.Y.
– SI.com staff