The Greatest Fights within the Rock Cinematic Universe

Admit it: If you hear “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme tune of the Rocky films, you possibly can’t assist however get that impressed feeling deep in your intestine. Invoice ContiThe anthem of the juices flows, virtually demanding that anybody listening rise to no matter problem they face and declare victory. Again in 1976, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), a younger fighter from Philadelphia who moonlighted as a small-time hood to pay the payments, walked into an area health club and met a person named Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith) who would develop into his coach. The story would develop into the stuff of legends, and nearly 5 many years later, the title Rocky Balboa continues to be synonymous not solely with the Metropolis of Brotherly Love, but additionally with the largest rags-to-riches. an underdog story ever instructed on display. In the event you ask Philadelphians who greatest represents their hardscrabble, blue-collar metropolis, many will instantly counsel Rocky as its undisputed coronary heart and soul. By no means earlier than has a fictional character been so embraced as a real-life image of hope and overcoming lengthy odds to realize one’s desires.


In newer years, the Rocky franchise expanded to incorporate the religion spin-off sequence, solely including to the franchise’s legacy of brutal but inspiring big-screen boxing matches. Right here is our listing of the very best battles of the Rocky cinematic universe, ranked based on how large of an emotional and dramatic influence they make when the characters slug it out within the ring.

8. Rocky vs. Clubber Lang in “Rocky III” (1982)

Picture by way of MGM/UA Leisure Co.

After claimed the heavyweight title within the Rocky II rematch in opposition to Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), Rocky Balboa is able to struggle the highest ranked contender, James “Clubber” Lang (Mr. T.), in protection of his title. The stakes for this struggle solely climb greater when the Lang taunts Rocky’s spouse, Adrian (Talia Province), at a press convention and injures Mickey in a pre-battle brawl that worsens his coronary heart situation, finally resulting in his demise. Clubber is a fearsome, highly effective punisher based mostly loosely on real-life fighters Sonny Liston and George Foreman and served 5 years in jail for aggravated assault. With the demise of his mentor clouding his thoughts, a weak Rocky loses the bow to Lang and surrenders the heavyweight belt.

7. Adonis Creed vs. Leon “The Lion” Sporino in “Creed” (2015)

Picture by way of MGM Studios.

Making an attempt to step out of the shadow of his legendary father, heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) enters the ring in opposition to a heated, quick punching powerhouse, Leon “The Lion” Sporino (Gabriel Rosado). With Rocky in his nook as his coach, Adonis battles the demons of his father’s legacy and residing as much as sky-high expectations. With the highlight of the boxing world on him, he fights for himself and for his father’s reminiscence. The brutal forwards and backwards with Sporino, filmed by director Ryan Coolger in a single take, continues to be praised by followers of each movie and boxing followers. Sporino proves to be a greater than worthy opponent, however Creed finally wins a hard-fought victory.

Associated: 10 Intense Exercise Montages From The Films ‘Rocky’ and ‘Religion’, Ranked From Worst to Greatest

6. Apollo Creed vs. Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” (1985)

Picture by way of MGM/UA Leisure Firm

Within the prequel to Rocky IVRocky’s climactic battle in opposition to Ivan Drago, Drago (Dolph Lundgren) should first cope with the flashy former heavyweight champion of the world, Apollo Creed. Billed as the best fighter ever produced from behind the Iron Curtain, Drago is a formidable mauler with unimaginable punching energy. In an exhibition bout that Creed takes too evenly, the struggle is a pricey one which sees Drago beat Creed so badly that the older boxer dies within the ring because of the Russian upstart’s relentless barrage of punches. Having to face in Creed’s nook and watch his foil and good friend die within the ring, Rocky vows revenge, establishing an excellent larger tilt between Drago and Rocky later within the movie.

5. Rocky vs Clubber Lang (Rematch) in “Rocky III” (1982)

Sylvester Stallone and Mr. T boxing in Rocky III.

Within the first actual revenge matchup within the Rocky sequence, Rocky’s rematch with Clubber Lang is all about getting some payback. Following Mickey’s demise, Rocky is extra decided than ever to settle the rating with the Mohawk thug who pounded him of their earlier bout. It seems like Rocky could lose once more early within the struggle when Lang comes throughout as a person possessed, however Balboa digs deep and finds the inspiration to show the tide and beat Lang in wonderful style.

4. Adonis Creed vs. Viktor Drago in “Creed II” (2018)


That struggle is billed as a matchup between the 2 sons of former heavyweight champions Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago. It is one other revenge bent as Adonis is haunted by recollections of his father dying within the ring by the hands of his opponent’s father. Viktor Drago isn’t any slouch himself as he has great velocity mixed with energy that has seen him beat among the greatest fighters on the planet to earn his shot at Adonis. In a grueling 12-round brawl, Creed avenges his father and features a level of satisfaction that he has honored the Creed legacy.

3. Rocky vs. Apollo Creed in “Rocky” (1976)

Picture by way of United Artists

What are you able to say in regards to the one who began all of it? An area child from South Philly preventing the reigning heavyweight champion of the world was alleged to be a gimmick, however it turned a legendary boxing match for the ages. When the flashy and smooth-talking Apollo Creed needed to drum up some nationwide consideration for a struggle to defend his title, he got here up with the concept of ​​taking up the inexperienced however robust Rocky Balboa from the Metropolis of Brotherly Love. It was alleged to be a cakewalk for the champion, however he did not take into account what he could not see — the guts of a lion. They all the time say, “Do not decide the dimensions of the canine within the struggle, decide the dimensions of the struggle within the canine.” What adopted was a magical brawl that went the gap. Each fighters ended up bloody as Creed barely retained the belt by cut up resolution and Rocky earned the respect of a nation.

2. Rocky vs. Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV” (1985)

Picture by way of MGM / UA Leisure Firm

It was billed as East versus West, Russia versus the US. Not solely would Rocky journey to Russia to face Ivan Drago, he would additionally struggle as a consultant of the American lifestyle throughout the peak of the Chilly Battle. In a battle to avenge the demise of his enemy turned greatest good friend, Apollo Creed, Rocky was an underdog in opposition to the person machine Ivan Drago. Whereas Drago educated on state-of-the-art tools and was shot filled with performance-enhancing steroids, Rocky was given a rural and dilapidated outhouse in the midst of nowhere to coach for the struggle. Following one of many best coaching montages in film historical past, Rocky and Drago beat one another mindless all the best way to the ultimate spherical earlier than Rocky finds an additional gear and knocks the Russian fighter on his ass. It is really one of the crucial thrilling moments within the franchise’s storied historical past.

1. Rocky vs Apollo Creed (Rematch) in “Rocky II” (1979)

Picture by way of United Artists

Rematch of the battle of the primary movie, Rocky vs. Apollo Creed II was a very totally different animal. There was no probability that Apollo would underestimate the preliminary challenger this time. “Shove me as soon as, disgrace on you” and all that. This meant that Rocky had his work reduce out for him, as he wouldn’t have the ability to sneak up on the champion a second time. After exchanging punches throughout a punishing 15-round struggle, the native child from Philly was lastly in a position to knock out the champion and declare the coveted title of “Heavyweight Champion of the World.” The post-fight ceremony additionally gave us maybe probably the most iconic line of any sports activities film ever made with Rocky triumphantly exclaiming, “Yo, Adrian! I did it!”

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