“John L. Sullivan, World Champion Bare Knuckle Boxer, the father of all professional sports figures, trained right here in Allegany County!”
One of Allegany County’s best kept secrets is the historic training barns where boxing’s greatest legend, John L. Sullivan, trained for his championship fight against Jake Kilrain. That’s right, the father of all professional sports figures has a rich history in little Belfast, New York.
Since the very first induction class of 2008 to this year’s, 53 original boxers, and 47 honorary award holders of the highly-coveted medicine ball statue have been named to the BKBHOF. Baby Joe Mesi, Rob Ray, Leon Spinks, Livingstone Bramble, Christy Salters, and other powerful sports figures have made their way to Belfast to accept their honor and to tour the famous barns of Sullivan.
The 2018 BKBHOF inductees (Originals) are Mike Conley, Tom Johnson, Nat Langham, and Joe Lannon. Honorary inductees are Rick Jeanneret (voice of the Buffalo Sabres), Tony Gee (BKB historian and author), and Dick Topinko (1965 Golden Gloves Champion).
This year, a brand-new award is being added to the event, the first class of William Muldoon’s All-Star Wrestlers Wall of Fame. The Founders Class of wrestlers (those from the 1800s to the 1950s) in the first class are Martin “Farmer” Burns, Frank Gotch, George Hackenschmidt, Tom Jenkins, Ed “Strangler” Lewis, William Muldoon, and Clarence Whistler. In the first Modern Class are Andre the Giant, Nick Bockwinkel, Bob Brazil, Hulk Hogan, Walter “Killer” Kowalski, Buddy Rogers, Bruno Sammartino, Gorilla Monsoon, and The Fabulous Moolah.
Current World Champion Belt Holder of Bare Knuckle Boxing, Bobby Gunn will also be at this year’s induction.