Sledge Hammer -> RE: Hall of fame (24/12/2012 3:04:33 PM)
I just wrote this for another site and thought that you might be interested:
The Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee
Over the years, there has been numerous discussions as to the inclusion of certain people into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF), some of which have been met with horror by the boxing fraternity.
One such inductee was the 2011 entrant, Sylvester Stallone.
Now, before you start foaming at the mouth or before steam comes out of your ears, let think about that induction and its merits. What exactly has Sylvester Stallone done to warrant inclusion?
Well there is one obvious answer to that question but is it enough? Rocky Balboa.
On the logic of Sylvester Stallone should be inducted into the hall of fame due to playing the iconic boxer Rocky alone, then surely Robert DeNiro, Denzel Washington and if we need to go even more extreme, Ryan O'Neill should all be in there too.
So why is Sly different?
For this, I think you need to be of a certain age to understand the cultural impact and more importantly, the impact on boxing that Mr Balboa has had.
When I was growing up, the Rocky movies were at their peak. By the time Rocky III came out, I was 9 years old. That combined with the chart topping Eye of the Tiger, all the kids could talk about was boxing. We all wanted to be Rocky in the playground, whilst we all believed that the friend in front of us was Clubber Lang.
Rocky was the Harry Potter of my playground.
And for a generation of children boxing was all about Rocky Balboa and not the Haglers, Leonards, Hearns of the time. Children knew who Rocky was but most children of that generation would yet have discovered the real greats of that time.
When you break it down even further, the children/ young adults of that era, would not have had access to the great fights other than late night ITV. You couldnt download any fight out there but everyone had at least one friend who owned a copy of a Rocky film.
Rocky inspired a generation to go and watch boxing. I am sure if you asked fighters of a certain generation, many of them will cite those films as part of the reason they first went to a gym. To me, that is the reason why Sylvester deserves his place in the IBHOF - he has been responsible for a generation getting in to the sport.
When you look at some of the other people in the "Non Participants" section of the HoF, can it really be said that some of those are more worthy than Sly? Even people like Frank Warren could be argued has done more to halt boxing matches go ahead (well good quality match ups anyway). Has any child grown up wanting to become Michael Buffer?
That is why Sylvester deserves, in my opinion, his place in the IBHOF.
But that's not the point of this article (although hopefully it will generate some debate). What I want to offer up is another controversial
offering, connected to Rocky, as to who I think should go in soon.
My nomination for the IBHOFis.......
Now some of you might be thinking, "who the hell is Bill Conti?"
Quite simply put, he is the guy responsible for scoring the majority of the Rocky movies. And lets face it, if those of you of a similar age to me ever played Rocky in the school playground, I am sure you would have been running around humming the theme of "gonna fly now".
The Rocky movies would not have been the same if it hadnt been for the rousing scores and training montages and Bill was responsible for those adrenalin pumping scenes. Even now typing this, I have put the Rocky soundtrack on to youtube for a listen - I defy anyone to not enjoy that music and instantly not think of either boxing or Rocky.
And surely that is what the IBHOF is all about. Bringing recognition and elevating the sport. And when you look at people like Sly and Bill Conti, can it really be said that the two of them have not done that beyond the abilities of any other non boxer?
Thank you Bill for creating a masterpiece.