CANASTOTA, New York – Jackie Kallen opened up proceedings today at the International Boxing Hall of Fame, signing for fans and conducting a lecture and fan Q&A.

Kallen, a 2024 inductee, talked about her incredible career and said she had always hoped the call would come for her induction.

“I was going to get in, I hoped it’s when I’m good enough to be able to appreciate it. My next birthday I’m 79,” she said.

Kallen told stories about working with the likes of Tommy Hearns, Michael Moorer and James Toney, and how she was a journalist who hoped she could be like Barbara Walters.

Then she met the brilliant Hearns, “this skinny kid who became world champion – and also one of my best friends.”

Kallen’s grandmother was Joe Louis’ teacher at school, and trainer Emanuel Steward asked Jackie to be the publicist for his famous Kronk franchise. From there, Kallen was tasked with helping build the Kronk brand, which has become one of the sport’s most recognizable names.

“That was my college education,” Kallen said. “Like a Masters degree in boxing.”

Kallen recalled the moment the phone rang to inform her that she was finally on the ballot. “When something really exciting like that happens, it’s like being nominated for an Oscar, but being on the ballot was still a step in the right direction,” she recalled.

She debated with herself over when she would finally arrive, and then she was in.

“Thank God, at last somebody recognizes the fact that boxing is my life. I’ve always loved it and I still do,” she said.

Kallen is still involved in boxing and has a fighter, junior welterweight Mykquan Williams, on the Golden Boy Promotions bill at the Turning Stone Casino in nearby Verona, New York, on Friday night.

The famed manager said how Steward, who she ranked as a trainer equal to the likes of George Benton and Eddie Futch, prepared her for the sexism storm that she would inevitably live through, of those claiming she was sleeping with fighters or promoters, or that she was using her assets to get to the top. She came through it all.

Asked where she got her will to succeed from, Kallen said with a smile: “My mom was a hard ass.”

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