Living boxing legends and future Hall of Famers Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins now have their own photographs added to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The portraits, taken by renowned sports photographer Holger Keifel, are a part of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection in Washington, DC.
“Golden Boy Promotions is incredibly proud to donate these portraits to the National Portrait Gallery and further the widespread recognition of these two great athletes and the recognition of the sport of boxing as a mainstay in American culture,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer. “This is an honor befitting these two great champions Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins.”
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC houses portraits of Americans who have influenced the country’s history and culture. The process for choosing new additions to the museum’s collection is very selective.
In November 2013 the museum approved the inclusion of the Mayweather and Hopkins portraits into the museum’s collection. The portraits are projected to appear in the museum within the next two to three years and will likely be on display for six months or longer.
Both future Hall of Famers will be presented with their portraits before upcoming world title fights. Hopkins will receive his portrait on Thursday, April 17 in Washington, D.C. at the final press conference before his April 19 light heavyweight world championship unification bout against Beibut Shumenov at the DC Armory.
Mayweather’s portrait will be presented to him on April 30 in Las Vegas, NV at the final press conference for his May 3welterweight world championship unification bout against Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Photographer Holger Keifel is an accomplished name in the world of photography. Having focused on boxing from 2002-2010, Keifel put together a collection of over 250 black-and-white portraits for his book “Box: The Face of Boxing”, published in 2010 that included photos from fighters such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Mayweather, Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya. Keifel’s boxing work has been featured in several institutions, but these will be his first portraits to hang in the National Portrait Gallery.
The Portrait Gallery’s collection includes portraits of some of the most prominent boxers and fights in the history of the sport. Among the portraits of boxers in are images of Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Evander Holyfield and Joe Louis. Additionally there are photos and paintings of great fights including Ali vs. Joe Frazier, Louis vs. Max Baer, Louis vs. James Braddock, Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and Floyd Patterson vs. Tommy Jackson. These images date back as far as the beginning of the 20th century and together show the history of boxing in America.
“The inclusion of these two portraits is great for the sport of boxing and gives the American public another opportunity to appreciate these living legends,” said Schaefer. “At Golden Boy Promotions, we believe in giving back to the sport that has give us so much and we are thrilled to be able to do so in this way.”
The portraits can be viewed online at npg.si.edu. In addition to being featured on the website, the portraits may be used for special exhibits or printed in a museum catalog.