Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Announced Belfast, New York – Mark your calendar: The 2018 Bare Knuckle Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Day will be Saturday, July 7, BKBHOF President Scott Burt announced today. “This marks our 10th annual induction,” said Mr. Burt. “We are very excited about our slate of inductees - both the Honorary and the Originals.” One of the highlights of the packed day is the brunch at the United Methodist Family Center that follows the 10am stamping at the US Post Office in Belfast where a special cancellation is revealed to commemorate the day. In addition to inducting the 2018 class into the BKBHOF at the brunch, Burt will present the Marie Backus Person of the Year Award to veteran official Bill Clancy, and the Marie Backus Team of the Year Award to Team USA jujitsu, who trained at the Belfast barns last summer in preparation for their fall competition in Australia. “Our Person, and Team of the Year are based solely on dedication and character,” said Burt. “Bill has officiated over 900 professional fights in his life, and of some of the biggest names and bouts of our times. First and foremost he always has the boxer’s well-being and safety as his top concern, no matter what. And as for Team USA made up of Bryana Baer, Mike Hanchett, Charlie Love, Desmond White, and Coach Barry Broughton of Olean, I simply have never witnessed a more dedicated group of athletes.” To be considered as an Honorary Inductee, candidates must have brought a positive spotlight to modern boxing, or somehow uniquely be associated to the sport. In the case of boxers, they must have specifically brought positive attention to upstate New York during their career. “This year, the Honorary Inductees include Buffalo-based boxer of the 1960’s, 14-0 Dick Topinko who was picked by The Ring as one the top World prospects before a shoulder injury forced retirement; author and historian Tony Gee from England, regarded as one of the World’s best and most accurate; and Rick Jeanneret, legendary play-by-play commentator of the Buffalo Sabres since 1971, and a member of the NHL Hall of Fame. “Rick is a perfect example of what we mean by being ‘uniquely connected’ to the sport,” said Burt “No one in history has called more ‘bare-knuckle’ fights than Rick; albeit his were on ice! Fan favorite Rob Ray, a member of our very first class in 2009, says he hopes to be on hand to help induct Rick. Rick and Rob are now announcing partners for the Sabres. We couldn’t be more excited; I hope people turn out, this doesn’t often happen in Allegany County.” The 2018 Original Bare Knuckle Inductee class consists of four members this year. Mike Conley; Bare Knuckle Boxer. Known as The Ithaca Giant, he was the 1888 Northwest American Heavyweight Champion. Career spanned 1886-1894; record was 26-4-2. Fought the likes of Joe McAuliffe, Patsy Cardiff, Billy Woods, Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons. His image is used today many times over to represent the “Manly Man”. From Ithaca, New York. Tom Johnson; Bare Knuckle Boxer. Tom restored honor to the sport after decades of corruption. Champion of England from 1784 to 1791. Demonstrated early mental tactical awareness in the ring that others previously lacked. Nat Langham; Bare Knuckle Boxer. An influential English pugilist who became the English Middleweight Champion. Nat was the only conqueror of Tom Sayers. After defeating Sayers in 1857 he retired to manage the first-ever professional Champion of the Boxing World, Jem Mace. Joe Lannon; Bare Knuckle Boxer. The Hammerer, who’s career spanned 1883-93. Fought George Godfrey, Jack Aston, Jake Kilrain, and Jim Corbett just to mention a few. Although known as one of the top heavyweights of his time, is best known for being John L. Sullivan’s exhibition and sparring partner; no one was in the ring with Sullivan more. Lannon’s great-grandson, and name-sake, will travel in from New Hampshire to accept the award.