CANASTOTA, N.Y. - Danny "Little Red" Lopez was slow and deliberate in his acceptance speech, unlike his demeanor in the ring as a champion featherweight. Longtime Associated Press boxing writer Ed Schuyler Jr. wasn't so fast for a change.
Being immortalized can have that effect.
Lopez and Schuyler were among 13 men inducted yesterday into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, capping their impressive careers.
"Getting inducted is a big honor, getting the ring and the whole shot," said Lopez, who fashioned a 42-6 record with 39 knockouts in a 10-year career. "I felt much better winning a fight in the ring, but this is comparable to it. Pretty close."
Other living inductees were: light flyweight champ Jung-Koo Chang, the first South Korean boxer to make the Hall of Fame; manager Shelly Finkel; referee and commissioner Larry Hazzard; German promoter Wilfried Sauerland; and matchmaker Bruce Trampler.
Posthumous honorees were: light heavyweight Lloyd Marshall; featherweight champion Young Corbett II; lightweight champion Rocky Kansas; heavyweight contender Billy Miske; Paddington Tom Jones, whose 20-year career began in 1786; and broadcaster Howard Cosell.
Although it didn't end in a knockout, Lopez's victory over Davey Kotey for the 1976 WBC featherweight championship remains one of his signature moments in the ring. It came in Kotey's homeland of Ghana in front of a crowd of 122,000 fans - still the second-largest crowd in the sport's history.
Schuyler covered more than 300 world championships for AP and figures he was ringside for about 6,000 fights.
Cosell, who died in 1995, was a champion of the sport. He stood by Muhammad Ali when Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title and forced into a three-year retirement because of his refusal to serve in the military in Vietnam.
"The boxing world was very good to us," Colin Cosell said in accepting the award for his grandfather. "With his trademark modesty, I'm sure Howard would say he was very good to the world of boxing as well - tongue in cheek, of course."
It was a landmark day for the family of Miske, who fought Jack Dempsey in 1920 while suffering from Bright's Disease (a disease of the kidneys). Despite being bedridden, Miske also insisted on one final fight in 1923 - and won it - when he had only weeks to live so he could buy Christmas presents for his kids and a piano for his wife.
"It is a great honor for the Miske family," said the fighter's grandson, Bill Miske. "We've been waiting for this for a number of years and it finally came to fruition. We're thrilled."
The day left a lasting impression on Chang.
"From now on, Canastota is my hometown," he said through a translator. "I'll come back every year."