The former All-Marine boxer and coach is a lifelong devotee to the sport.
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Michael Cline will be one of six individuals inducted into the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame in Charlotte this summer. Cline became an All-Marine boxer in 1976 and fought in various district and regional matches throughout his time in the service. In 1988, he joined the All-Marine coaching staff.
“It is a very prestigious honor,” Cline said of the selection. “I am just thankful and I am humbled to have that opportunity.”
In 2003, Cline won a bronze medal in the masters division of the Ringside National Tournament. To this day, he remains involved in the local boxing community, coaching boxers on base daily.
His deep love for the sport proves to be one of the main pillars in his life.
“It has made me very humble (and) disciplined,” Cline said. “It’s kept me motivated. It’s kept me in esprit de corps, understanding team concepts, how to deal with people and how to give back to others.”
Following the disbandment of the All-Marine team in 2012, Cline established the All-Marine Boxing Team Alumni Hall of Fame in 2016. He proudly serves as the chairman of the team’s alumni hall of fame, which holds a reunion and induction ceremony here locally each year.
According to Mike Bivens, vice chairman of the Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame, all inductees must have one trait that stands out beyond the wins and losses - good character.
“You’ve got to be someone in the community that we feel like represents boxing well,” Bivens said.
Character is surely something Cline has always taken pride in and something that he sees reflected in this year’s class.
“I am all about making sure that we have sportsmanship and that our conduct is professional at all times,” Cline said. “I think that they recognized that we never wavered off of professionalism.”
The Carolinas Boxing Hall of Fame was founded in 1984 and is housed at Bojangles Coliseum. Some of its notable past inductees include Floyd Patterson, James Smith, Larry Frazier and Ray Mercer, among others.
The induction ceremony is scheduled for July 17 in Charlotte. For more info, visit www.carolinasboxinghalloffame.com.