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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
'Rocky' recognized for bringing attention to boxing

By Amanda Rykoff

On Tuesday, the International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its 2011 class, including Mike Tyson, Kostya Tszyu, Julio Cesar Chavez and actor/screenwriter Sylvester Stallone. When I first heard the news, I thought, "Really? Sylvester Stallone? He's an actor, not a boxer!" But then I thought about it for another few minutes and changed my mind. It makes perfect sense for Sly Stallone to be a boxing Hall of Famer.

Stallone -- who goes into the Hall of Fame as a screenwriter -- created and brought to life one of the most iconic sports figures in the last forty years. Despite being a fictional character, for many 25-to-40-year-olds, Rocky Balboa is the closest -- if not the only -- connection to boxing. I was a young girl when "Rocky" first came out in 1976, and, to this day, I remember watching the training scene for the first time. When I went to college in Philadelphia at Penn, I made a point of seeking out the Rocky statue at the old Spectrum and the "Rocky Steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I'm not a boxing fan, but I certainly am a "Rocky" fan.

Mike Tyson was a once in a lifetime boxing phenomenon and his induction is no doubt well deserved. I'm thankful I got to see Mike Tyson fight in his prime, but I won't watch a Tyson fight over and over again on DVD with my family and friends. I will watch (and have watched) "Rocky" many times. It's a classic. Congratulations to Stallone for creating an iconic figure whose legacy as a boxer will continue to live on for generations to come.