Boxers from many eras of the Marine Corps will gather for the All-Marine Boxing Hall of Fame induction and banquet at Goettge Memorial Field House on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune today.
The initial induction will recognize nearly 50 Marine boxers, including former Olympians, current fighters, coaches and officials. Half of the Marines will be recognized posthumously.
“There’s a slew of people coming to be recognized,” said William Joseph, Joseph Randy Reichler Reception Center director. “You got people coming back to Jacksonville for the first time.”
Special guests attending include Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey, former South Carolina golden glove boxer and Leon Spinks, former heavyweight champion who defeated Muhammad Ali, among many other Marines who have made their name in boxing.
“There’s been a lot of people that have performed incredibly in the public eye (competing) in a variety of world class competitions representing our country and Corps with dignity, grace and the true model of Marine Corps values,” said Michael Cline, supervisor at the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System ID Card Center.
Although the team was disbanded in 2012, the legacy of the All-Marine Boxing Team lives on.
“They were all Marines,” said Joseph. “This sport, pugilism, defines the purpose of the Marines: the competitiveness, will to win and never quitting. Boxing is a sport where you can never take anything for granted. The smallest margin of error can alter your career and life. To succeed, skill and talent alone is not enough, but instead, the will to win is much more. That is the epitome of a U.S. Marine.”
Story by Cpl. Mark Watola