I’m a few days late on this one, but Sylvester Stallone was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday under the classification of an “Observer“* because of the impact that the Rocky franchise has had on the sport of boxing. In fact, Stallone was inducted on the same day as Mike Tyson, whose presence in the Nintendo game Punchout! may be the reason that most of us ever even noticed the sport. But all wistful childhood nostalgia aside, Stallone’s recognition has the boxing purists plugging their cauliflower ears and screaming for the sanctity of their nearly irrelevant and almost totally corrupt sport.
These experts and critics say that an actor with no fighting past has no place in their Hall of Fame, despite his film character’s iconic status and impact on the sport.
On Sunday, Sylvester Stallone was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. His enshrinement has already drawn the ire of some boxing purists. One longtime boxing media member I spoke to over the weekend simply said “What a joke” when referring to Stallone’s induction. He had a point, under the simple premise that Stallone has never thrown a “real” punch. So if Mr.T showed up to call Stallone out, he would have been making a solid point this time.
The hardcore boxing types could be heard making a minor stink when the news of Stallone’s addition to the latest class was announced. Yet it seems the diehard opponents of Rocky Balboa in the Hall have mostly gone unnoticed and overlooked. (Via Opposing Views)
The writer actually goes on to contradict the very point of his op-ed, but come on. Lighten up, Francis. It’s a freaking movie character. It’s not like they’re inducting Hayden Panettiere’s cervix for withstanding Wladimir Klitschko for three years. Stallone’s film franchise did more for promoting boxing over the past 30 years than most boxers have ever done. But most importantly, Stallone’s inclusion leaves the door open for Channing Tatum to be inducted into the MMA Hall of Fame for Fighting and I think that’s a dream we should all share.
And I know what you’re wondering – was Stallone’s acceptance speech as mumbly and, well, Stalloney as you would hope? See for yourself.
*The Observer category in the International Boxing Hall of Fame is for honorees who never actually boxed.
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