CANASTOTA - Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, an 11-time Pro Bowl Selection and a longtime boxing fan, has been named Grand Marshal of the 2018 Boxing Hall of Fame Parade of Champions on Sunday, June 10.
The Parade of Champions, scheduled to start at 1 p.m., will pass through the streets of Canastota and lead to the grounds of the Hall of Fame Museum prior to the start of the Official Induction Ceremony honoring the new class of inductees, including boxers Vitali Klitschko, Erik Morales, Winky Wright and Sid Terris; ring announcer Johnny Addie, promoters Lorraine Chargin and Klaus-Peter Kohl and broadcasters Steve Albert and Jim Gray.
"The Hall of Fame is so thrilled that Larry Fitzgerald, one of the NFL’s most popular players since he entered the league in 2004, will be in Canastota in June to serve as the 2018 grand marshal," said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. "His career achievements as the Cardinals star wide receiver are simply incredible and his off-the-field community service is just as impressive. It will be a remarkable day in ‘Boxing’s Hometown’ when #11 leads the Parade of Champions."
The 34-year-old Fitzgerald was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he was unanimous All-America selection while starring the University of Pittsburgh in 2003. Selected third in the 2004 NFL Draft by Arizona, he has played his entire professional career for the Cardinals. Besides his 11 Pro Bowls, Fitzgerald was named a first-team All-Pro in 2008 and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2009 and 2011.
Fitzgerald is third on the NFL's all-time list with 1,234 receptions and 15,545 receiver yards. Off the field, Fitzgerald is passionate about community service, establishing foundations to assist families and children in need, as well supporting cancer and HIV/AIDS awareness and education. He has been lauded for his charitable work, including yjr Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (2016) and Pro Football Weekly Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian Award (2012).
In November 2017, Fitzgerald signed a one-year contract extension to remain with the Cardinals through the 2018 season.
"Having been a life-long big boxing fan, it’s a great honor to be asked to be the Grand Marshal for the International Boxing Hall of Fame Parade of Champions," Fitzgerald said in a press release from the Hall of Fame. "I’m looking forward to coming to Canastota to be with all of the fans and boxing greats to be able to witness the Class of 2018 take its place with the immortals of the sport.
"As a player in the NFL, I know what a thrill it is to see and be in the company of those who have risen to the top. It will be a great celebration of those being inducted, and particularly for me, to be able to be there and share in festivities for my mentor and dear friend, Jim Gray. I can’t wait until June and am grateful to be involved in this special event."
Over 35 boxing stars from the United States and abroad, including "Iron" Mike Tyson, Miguel Cotto, Marco Antonio Barrera, Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik, Antonio "Magic Man" Tarver, "Irish" Micky Ward, James "Lights Out" Toney, Sergio "Maravilla" Martinez, Leon and Michael Spinks, Gerry Cooney, Christy Martin and many more will be highlighted in the Parade of Champions.
There are several events planned during the four-day celebration are planned, including a 5K Race/Fun Run, golf tournament, boxing autograph card show, VIP Cocktail Reception and the Official Induction Ceremony on the Hall of Fame Museum Grounds. The Hall of Fame Weekend evening events include Friday night’s Fight Night at Turning Stone and Saturday's Banquet of Champions - both at Turning Stone Resort Casino.
For more information on the Hall of Fame's 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, contact the Hall of Fame at (315) 697-7095, visit online at www.ibhof.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InternationalBoxingHallofFame and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BoxingHall.