Read the opposing argument from Babe Ruthless.
Something happened in the boxing world last week that really caught my attention, and immediately I said out loud, “Do what?” Yes, Mike Tyson definitely warranted an invite into the Boxing Hall of Fame. Boxing isn’t as big of a deal now, but back in the late 1980s Iron Mike was the guy and attracted casual fans like me to watch the sport. Heck, he had a video game named after him (Mike Tyson’s Punch Out), which I played quite a bit as a child and would give anything to play again. Julio Caesar Chavez’s record of 107-6-2 with 86 knockouts speaks for itself. The name that had me up in arms on this Hall of Fame invitation list was Sylvester Stallone.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate what Sly brought to pop culture history with his creation of one of cinema’s most famous characters, Rocky Balboa. The six installments of the Rocky franchise grossed over $565M at the box office. So many things came out of that franchise. “Yo Adrian,” the classic song ‘Eye of the Tiger,” the memorable scene of Rocky running up the steps, epic battles with Apollo Creed, an introduction to Tommy Morrison, etc. The list goes on and on. And while I appreciate Babe Ruthless’s love for the Italian Stallion, I can’t agree that the man who gave us Judge Dredd belongs in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
The key with Rocky is the simple fact that he is a FICTIONAL character. The entire previous paragraph was written solely about a movie. It wasn’t about a REAL fight. It wasn’t about the Rumble in The Jungle. It wasn’t about Thrilla in Manilla. It wasn’t even about someone getting a good size portion of one’s ear bitten off. All of these things happened in real life boxing. Epic battles between Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa happened, but they only happened in theatres and drive-thru theaters across the country decades ago. These fights were staged, scripted, and performed by actors Stallone and Carl Weathers, who is also known to a younger generation as Chubbs Peterson in one of Loyal Homer’s all-time favorite movies, Happy Gilmore.
And if you’re in the Boxing Hall of Fame, do you feel this cheapens the honor? If Mark Wahlberg wins multiple Academy awards for the upcoming movie The Fighter, does he warrant an induction? Heck, if Stallone is going into the Boxing Hall of Fame, then why can’t Kevin Costner expect an invitation to Cooperstown? After all, he brought us Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, not to mention For Love of the Game. Maybe the Boxing Hall of Fame really isn’t that hard to get into if a fictional character gets inducted.
Again, we all appreciate what Rocky has brought to our lives. He’s a true underdog and one we root for. But to induct Sylvester Stallone into the Boxing Hall of Fame is laughable.