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International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductees Remember Muhammad Ali

The late Hector "Macho" Camacho and other legends were inducted Sunday into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, but the day really belonged to Muhammad Ali.

"I'd like to acknowledge the passing of the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali," six-time world champion Sugar Ray Leonard said during the ceremony at the hall in Canastota, New York, NBC station WKTV of Utica reported.

Muhammad Ali's Close Friend Remembers the Man Outside the Boxing Ring 2:31

Flags at the museum were lowered to half-staff in honor of Ali, who died June 3 at age 74, leading up to Sunday's induction ceremony, which started with a moment of silence.

Boxing journalist Jerry Izenberg used his induction speech to tell the audience about Ali, whom he covered for decades.

"It's been a very difficult period for me. My dear friend Muhammad Ali passed away," Izenberg said.

"I'd like everybody to understand who he was, what he really was," said Izenberg, one of the nation's premier boxing writers during his long career with the Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger.

"And I'm not going to bore you with a bunch of anecdotes except to say he was perhaps one of the greatest, if not the greatest, humanitarian I have ever known. I saw him do things that could bring tears to your eyes," he said.

In addition to Izenberg and Camacho — a three-time world champion who was slain in 2012 in his native Puerto Rico — Sunday's other honorees were:

  • Former world bantamweight and super bantamweight champion Lupe Pintor.
  • Former world light flyweight and flyweight champion Hilario Zapata.
  • Judge and HBO commentator Harold Lederman, who officiated more than 100 title fights.
  • Marc Ratner, former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and currently vice president of regulatory affairs for Ultimate Fighting Championship.
  • Announcer Bob Sheridan, who called many of Ali's fights, including the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman and the 1975 "Thrilla in Manila" against Joe Frazier.