Packing a Punch
The International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in Canastota is preparing for an unprecedented induction celebration June 9-12 and Turning Stone Resort Casino will be a huge part of the action.
This year’s induction ceremony will be the first since 2019, and the museum will be inducing three classes of inductees and more than 34 boxers in all. Several of the weekend’s events will take place at Turning Stone, including a Friday night fight card at the Event Center and a Saturday night “Banquet of Champions” dinner in the same space.
All told, the four-day celebration will attract scores of boxing legends, as well as thousands of boxing fans and luminaries.
“We are excited to welcome thousands of fans along with boxing legends and media back to Upstate New York and to once again be the capital of the boxing world,” said Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter.
According to Ed Brophy, founder and executive director of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, this year’s induction will be a celebration for the ages.
He noted that Turning Stone has been a critical partner of Hall of Fame weekend since the beginning.
“From very early on, the Oneida Indian Nation has been a huge part of what we do,” Ed said. “We’re thankful for their support.”
Ed founded the IBHOF in 1984 and opened the museum near Exit 34 off the New York State Thruway in 1989. He remembers escorting members of early induction classes on hard hat tours of the very first buildings at Turning Stone, which opened in 1993.
Since those early days, Turning Stone has provided the backdrop for dozens of IBHOF induction ceremonies and fights. Coincidentally, Laila Ali made her debut in a ring at our Event Center; she is part of the induction class of 2021. (Ali’s father, Mohammad Ali, was part of the inaugural induction class in 1990.)
Other inductees representing the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 include Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, Paddy Ryan, Wladimir Klitschko, Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Miguel Cotto, Roy Jones, Jr., and Holly Holm.
The way Brophy sees it, the mix of Canastota and Turning Stone offer boxing fans exactly what they like: down-home charm with over-the-top glitz and glam.
“Boxing fans love the small-town atmosphere of Canastota and they love the sparkling atmosphere that Turning Stone represents,” he said. “Boxing and casinos have always been a marriage, blend that with a small-town atmosphere and blue-collar community of Canastota, and that’s really what boxing is all about.”
For those interested in attending fights on Friday night, June 10, the lineup features four televised fights, and a stacked undercard, with a main event featuring Olympic Gold Medalist Bakhodir Jalolov and rising heavyweight prospect Jack Mulowayi. Tickets for the bout were still available as of press time, with prices starting at $39.