Mike Tyson, Sylvester Stallone Among 2011 Boxing Hall of Fame Inductees


One is a former heavyweight champion of the world and the self-proclaimed "baddest man on the planet." The other made his mark on the boxing world without ever stepping into the ring in an official match. But both Mike Tyson and Sylvester Stallone were honored this weekend for their contributions to the sport by being inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Tyson and Stallone highlight a class that also includes Julio Cesar Chavez, Kostya Tszyu, trainer Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain and referee Joe Cortez.

Although Tyson has perhaps gained greater noteriety for his actions outside the ring, the heavyweight was a dominant force in his prime. During a professional career that spanned nearly 20 years, Tyson became the first heavyweight to hold WBC, WBA and IBF titles simultaneously, and retired with a record of 50-6-2.

Tyson gave an emotional speech at the induction ceremony, choking back tears several times while giving thanks to his late trainer and mentor Cus D'Amato.

Stallone, although never a professional boxer, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his part in the legendary boxing film series Rocky, which Stallone wrote and starred in.

"I've never pretended to be a boxer. I don't possess those skills," Stallone said during his induction speech. "What I do think I have is an understanding of what goes on outside the ring. Outside the ring is sometimes maybe an even bigger struggle than what goes on inside the ring, and I was able to capture that. Then I believe that you can identify more with the fighter."

Rocky was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1976 — winning best picture — and spawned five sequels, all centering around underdog boxer Rocky Balboa, played by Stallone.

"I truly believe it's not how hard you can hit — it's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward because that's really what makes the difference in your life," Stallone said on Sunday.

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