Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera lead boxing hall of fame's class of 2017

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Evander Holyfield
Boxer Evander Holyfield arrives for the 2015 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 15, 2015. Reuters/Danny Moloshok

The 2017 class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame was announced on Tuesday. Evander Holyfield, former heavyweight champion and Marco Antonio Barrera, the three-division champion, headed a list of nine people selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

In an interview with USA Today, Holyfield said that he is excited. "It shows my work didn't go unnoticed, things that I accomplished. It's good to know that everybody else was watching. That's a great thing."

Holyfield won the Olympic bronze in 1984. In his 12th fight, he defeated Dwight Qawi for the WBA cruiserweight title. He became unified champion with knockout wins over IBF champion Rickey Parkey and WBC champion Carlos De Leon. He then moved up to the heavyweight division and captured the WBC-WBA-IBF titles in 1990 with a third-round knockout of Buster Douglas and made successful defences against George Foreman, Bert Cooper and Larry Holmes.

As for Barrera, he expressed that this is the best news for him. "I'm very happy. I am excited to go to Canastota," Barrera said. In the 1990s, he was able to win his first 43 bouts and captured the NABF super flyweight title before winning world championships in three weight divisions.

Barrera started his boxing profession at the age of 15. He was engaged in numerous high-action bouts in a 22-year career. He won titles at super bantamweight, featherweight and junior lightweight around 1995-2004.

Others who will complete for the list and will be inducted on June 11 in Canastota, New York are super flyweight champion Johnny Tapia, Australian trainer Johnny Lewis, Jerry Roth, journalist-broadcaster Steve Farhood, broadcaster Barry Tompkins and honorees Eddie Booker and Jimmy Lennon Sr., the ring announcer.

This recognition by the International Boxing Hall of Fame is the result of a career’s worth of hard work and accomplishments.