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Home Boxing Yo Paulie, the Hall of Fame! Can You Believe It?
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Yo Paulie, the Hall of Fame! Can You Believe It?

rocky-balboaGrowing up in the Philadelphia area in the mid 70’s was a special time. The Flyers were winning Stanley Cups, Phillies were always on the verge of the World Series, Eagles were improving, and the 76er’s were always in the running for the NBA title. I loved growing up around that magical sports city, watching my sports hero’s up close and personal as my father was friends with many of the players. It would be nothing for my brother, sister and I to spend time around the Flyers Ed Van Impe or Dave Schultz. With all of that, it was one singular man that captured my attention more than any other in 1976. His name was Rocky Balboa.

Along with the magic of the Philly sports teams, 1976 was also a magical historical time in the city. America was celebrating its 200th birthday and I lived in the area were the country was born. The celebrations were huge and long, but what I remember the most of the bicentennial year was my grandfather, Jim McGowan, taking my brother and I to the theater at the Tri-State mall in Claymont Delaware to see an unknown actor named Sylvester Stallone in a movie called “Rocky” Not only would the movie suck me in as a fan of the fictional Rocky Balboa, it would also begin my love affair with the sport of boxing. From the age of 10, I was hooked thanks to a southpaw who is plucked from obscurity to fight the world heavyweight champion on New Year’s Day 1976.

The character of Rocky Balboa did bring a lot of people, myself for example, into the world of boxing. Kids all over the country, hell the world, watched Rocky I and Rocky II, then went out, formed a ring and beat the living hell out of each other with boxing gloves made out of small pillows from their mothers couch. When I was a kid, my brother Frank, best friend Scott Aumiller, and neighbor kids Chris Baly all got together a tournament. We beat the piss out of each other in the ring. Then the bigger kids, Mark Fox, Scott’s older brother Todd and both Friedkin boys (Darrel and Brian) got into the action. When any of the original four mentioned were matched against the older boys, we went down on the first punch and laid there for the full count. Now that I look back, I shudder at the vision of a humongous Todd Aumiller or Darrell Friedkin running across the ring to begin to pummel me. These types of backyard brawls were repeated worldwide and a new generation of boxing fans was born.

Flash forward 34 years and 5 sequels to December 2010. The International Boxing Hall of Fame announces its class of 2011 inductees. Not much surprise as former heavyweight king “Iron” Mike Tyson, former pound for pound king Julio Cesar Chavez and long time referee Joe Cortez were being inducted into the IBHOF. Then came a bit of a surprise as they announced Sylvester Stallone would also be included in that class. Initially I thought it was just a joke or maybe someone had mistyped that Stallone was at the announcement. Then I spoke with Benny Henderson Jr who informed me that it was indeed true, Stallone would be forever enshrined with the boxing greats. You would think as such a huge Rocky series fan (I saw every single Rocky movie in a theater within a few days of its release), this would be great news to me, but it truly was not the case.  I was actually very disappointed.

Even with all of the people that the movie “Rocky” brought to the boxing world throughout its franchise, it still is a fictional character. The IBHOF inductees have paid their dues, climbed into the ring, putting their lives on the line for a payday and our entertainment. I realize that the movie is loosely based on Chuck Wepner and his courageous bout with Muhammad Ali, but I remind you that it is LOOSELY based on Wepner. The contribution that Stallone made to the world of boxing is extended past the Rocky franchise as he was also the executive producer of the reality boxing series “The Next Great Champion”, which lasted most of one season before being cancelled by Fox. I know that Stallone is a staple at most big boxing events, but still, really?

In the end, the IBHOF has inducted a guy who isn’t a real boxing but “played one on TV”. To me this waters down the selection process of the hall of fame. The people whose legends reside in hall and the fighters that are being inducted alongside Stallone have earned that distinction. Stallone, although I appreciate his contribution to the sport, is far from deserving an IBHOF induction. What is in store for next year? Carl Weathers for his portrayal of Apollo Creed? Dolph Lundgren for his portrayal of Ivan Drago? Come on hall of fame voters, let’s keep it real….figuratively.

Bob Carroll
www.convictedartist.com

For the best in boxing, sports, punk rock and the sound of 80’s metal, listen to the Fightin’ Words Radio Network. Monday, 7-9PM, bring you Frank “The Punk Rock Pirate” Carroll with San Clemente Punk, Tuesday, 8-9PM brings Big Dog Radio, hosted by Convicted Artist writers “The Big Dog” Benny Henderson and Bob Carroll, Wednesday night 7-9PM, brings you Sports Tonite with Tommy G., Thursday night, 7-9PM, sees Rock N Sports hosted by Frank Carroll and heavyweight contender Danny Batchelder, Friday night, 8-10 PM put on the parachute pants and mullets as Bob Carroll transports you back to the 80’s hair metal era with “All Hail Hair” and Saturday night from 6-7 PM, the flagship show of the network, Fightin’ Words, hosted by Bob Carroll and Butch is on the air. All shows are also archived on the Fightin’ Words Radio Network show page. To listen to any of the shows on the Fightin’ Words Radio Network, click here

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Anonymous  - re:Canadian Hall of Fame boxer |
Dan wrote:
Yes ,Stallone does deserve Recognition ,for writing and acting of Rocky. But know way in Hell "" does He belong in the IBHOF,To be considered for the BHOF, you must first, box for twenty some years and fight in 5 different weight divisions ,and have over 2 hundred fights and win at least half of them.Oh' ya' take many body/head shots,eye cuts broken jaws hands,ribs etc,fight in the war ,and die at age 50.So please don,t tell Me that a movie actor should be inducted. When there are so many boxers that deserve to be in the IBHOF. Now don,t get Me wrong' I do like Stallone movies...
Dan  - Hall of Fame boxer |
Yes ,Stallone does deserve Recognition ,for writing and acting of Rocky. But know way in Hell "" does He belong in the IBHOF,To be considered for the BHOF, you must first, box for twenty some years and fight in 5 different weight divisions ,and have over 2 hundred fights and win at least half of them.Oh' ya' take many body/head shots,eye cuts broken jaws hands,ribs etc,fight in the war ,and die at age 50.So please don,t tell Me that a movie actor should be inducted. When there are so many boxers that deserve to be in the IBHOF. Now don,t get Me wrong' I do like Stallone movies...
Plymouth505  - re: Sylvester Stallone Deserves Recognition ! |
Not only did Sylvester Stallone play Rocky in the movie. And did a great job at that. But he wrote the original story. Dam Right he deserves to be a boxing hall of famer !
Eddie P  - Sylvester Stallone Deserves Recognition ! |
I would have to disagree with you on this Mr. Carroll. These movies inspired millions of people to embrace the sport. Had it not been for these movies starring Sylvester Stallone I do not believe boxing would be where it is today. Rocky sure did inspire me to get off my butt and get into the gym.
 
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