Stallone still an Oscar winner to me for boxing's Balboa

Mar 1, 2016 3:00 AM

So what was the guy’s name who won for best supporting actor at the Oscars? Who really cares? Now no one can say how many shots Sylvester Stallone has left to win an Oscar, but his role as Rocky Balboa in the movie “Creed” was a knockout.

At least he received the nomination, and that should make him feel good as an actor.

I was thinking the other day about who the most pertinent boxer of my lifetime and maybe yours has been. There’s Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko… and those are just the heavyweights. It’s now being said the enduring character Rocky Balboa of the famed “Rocky” movies was patterned after the real-life boxer Chuck Wepner.

After a series of seven movies, starting in 1976 till the 2015 release of “Creed,” I don’t think there has been a more dominant heavyweight figure than the fictional Rocky. Boxing is the most up-and-down sport going, but in good times and bad, Stallone’s Rocky character has been an enduring feel-good tonic for the sport.

I was fortunate to have interviewed Stallone on radio in Chicago several years back, and he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever chatted with. He was down to earth and grounded.

While some people feel shunned by the Oscars for different reasons, Stallone was overlooked again. His Rocky series has been ultra-successful, and it’s a shame Hollywood didn’t throw him a bone.

That’s okay, Sly, folks still love ya!

Mike North has been in sports radio 20-plus years. He is heard weekly on the national FoxSports Radio network, writes a twice-weekly column for the Daily Herald newspaper and does videos for their website three times a week. Listen to his podcasts at Twitter: @North2North. Email: [email protected]