Tyson, Stallone inducted into Boxing HOF

Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Hangover Part II' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. (Adriana M....

Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Hangover Part II' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. (Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com)

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Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson and "Rocky" star Sylvester Stallone were among those inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday.

 

The 2011 class also included three-division champion Julio Cesar Chavez, junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu, referee Joe Cortez and trainer Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain.

 

Tyson, one of the sport's most recognizable and divisive figures, came to prominence with his historic rise to the top of the heavyweight ranks as the sport's youngest champion in 1986 and an inglorious fall that included a jail sentence. He had a record of 50-6 with 44 knockouts and was known for his ferocity in the ring.

 

In a brief acceptance speech, Tyson grew emotional when speaking of former trainer and mentor Cus D'Amato.

 

"When I met Cus, we talked a little bit about money, but we wanted to be great fighters," said Tyson.

 

Clearly overwhelmed, Tyson promptly ended the speech, saying: "Hey guys, I can't even finish this stuff. Thank you."

 

Stallone's "Rocky" -- the well-known story of a Philadelphia club fighter who gets a shot at the heavyweight title -- was released in 1976 and won three Academy Awards, including best picture.

 

Stallone received nominations for writing the movie and starring in it, spawning a popular series that included five more films, all about his Rocky Balboa character.

 

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

 

Chavez held featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight titles during a career that included 107 wins over 115 fights. A national hero in Mexico, he compiled a record of 89-0-1 before a loss to Frankie Randall in 1994.

 

Tszyu, a Russian native who moved to Australia, was junior welterweight champ with a record of 31-2 with 25 knockouts. He became the unified champ with a second-round TKO of Zab Judah in 2001.

 

Cortez had an 18-1 record before retiring in 1971 and became a referee. He worked his first title bout in 1982 and refereed more than 160 title fights, including Tyson vs. Holmes and Bowe vs. Holyfield I.

 

Beristain trained Mexico's boxing teams at the 1968, 1976 and 1980 Olympics, and guided 18 champions in the pro ranks, including Hall of Famers Ricardo "Finito" Lopez, Humberto "Chiquita" Gonzalez and Daniel Zaragoza.


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