Rocky Balboa’s archenemies

There are movie characters that transcend movies and become popular icons, modern classics that never go out of style. It is the case of rockythe third highest-grossing saga in film history only behind Star Wars Y James Bond.

The adventures of the character created by Sylvester Stallone to pass into eternity are still valid in the eighth film of the saga, the second spin off of believethat of the return of his most feared archenemy, the murderer of Apollo (father of Adonis): nothing more and nothing less than the one remembered Ivan Dragowhose gaze has been filled with more hatred and anger in these 34 years that have passed since his humiliating defeat against the persevering fighter from Philadelphia in Rocky IV.




Before Adonis faces Victor Dragoson of Iván, in Spanish cinemas, we review the bloody battles that Rocky has experienced in the ring since that stroke of fortune when, being a nobody, the heavyweight world champion chose him as a contender because he liked his nickname of El Potro Italiano.

The rest is a story of overcoming, courage and willpower that has struck a chord with the millions of tourists who run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art each year and yell on arrival: “Yo, Adrian, I did it!!”.

1. Apollo Creed, the charlatan dandy

Carl Weathers immortalized the jap master for posterity, that narcissistic and sarcastic world champion (with the spectacular voice of Constantino Romero in the Spanish dubbing) who is left without a challenger due to injury and selects Rocky among hundreds of applicants to enforce the American dream: the old myth of David against Goliath. Sly had been excited watching him lose Chuck Wepner before Mohamed Ali, because he was able to hold out for 15 rounds and only fell to the canvas in the last seconds of the fight. That feat inspired Stallone, who wrote the screenplay for rocky in three days. The first match between Adonis’s father and El Potro Italiano is the most remembered by fans, who consider it one of the best in the saga.



In the second installment, Apollo receives letters of death threats and insults for not having been able to knock down a fighter. of the heap, so he pressures Rocky with everything to agree to an epic rematch with the winner being decided by just a second apart. As is the hallmark of the deformed lip boxer, the resistance of his chin and his ability to revolt when no one expects it, drawing strength from weakness, will bring Apollo down the street of bitterness in another hyperdramatic fight.



2. Thunderlips, the super macho

This exhibition match, belonging to rocky IIIto raise funds for a good cause almost ended in tragedy, because Thunderlips (played by the Wrestling hero hulk hogan) takes it too seriously and tries to rip Balboa in half. It is the clear antecedent of Mayweather against McGregor and even Uncle Paulie receives his. Rocky ends up taking off his gloves to subdue a monstrous guy who grows two heads out of him. Hogan took advantage of the film’s success to star in some seedy action by-products in the ’80s and part of the ’90s.




3. Clubber Lang, a beast of nature

In rocky IIIBalboa is already world heavyweight champion, he appears in the Muppets and they make chocolate bars with his name. When he announces his retirement (he has an eye problem since his brutal fight with Apollo in the first installment), a tsunami of the black powera hormone-ridden underworld Indian chief named Clubber Lang (the mythical MA Barracus of the Team A) who is hungry for glory and wants a chance to take down the champion. Although Mickey (incredible job on Meredith Burgess throughout the entire saga) is very reluctant, Rocky ends up accepting one more fight. He will pay for that decision.



When Rocky loses and before the death of his trainer, Apollo enters the scene to return the tiger’s gaze to the Colt. Clubber agrees to the rematch, “because it’ll be my pleasure to beat that guy up again.” The combat, not as long as the previous ones in the saga, presents a leaner, faster Balboa and that he puts into practice the teachings of Adonis’s father to subdue the brown beast of Lang.



4. The steel jaw of Iván Drago

Stallone, already one of the highest-grossing actors of the 1980s, also wrote and directed Rocky IV in 1985. To find his contender, he had to see more than 8,000 candidates (some sources say that even Tom Cruise was presented) until who ran into a two meter tall Swede and a huge punch: Dolph Lundgren. But before getting into the ring with him on the cold Soviet soil, Apollo couldn’t resist putting on the show in a match. friendly with a dramatic ending.



After Apollo’s death in the ring, Rocky is morally forced to face the Russian machine. The Italian-American boxer is training harder than ever by lifting wagons with people inside, doing impossible sit-ups and running in -30 degrees under KGB surveillance. “Rocky is cutting down the Russian tree,” the American commentator even says in full combat. If “tiger look” was the catchphrase from Rocky III, “There is no pain” is that of this fourth filmthe highest grossing of the saga and branded by some as a propaganda tool for Reagan in the midst of the Cold War (it was the first film that dared to speak openly about doping in sport, a fiction that later proved to be a painful reality both in the USSR and in later Russia).

Years later, Lundgren confessed that he was mistreated by his father as a child and that martial arts and psychotherapy were his escape routes. His friendship with Sly has led him to appear in the three installments of another very profitable saga: The mercenaries. Now in Creed IIreveals that he has lived in ignominy for 34 years for losing against Balboa and wants his son to remove the thorn by snatching the world champion title from Adonis, the son of the late Apollo.



5. Tommy Gunn, the hot-tempered apprentice

five years and three rambos Later, Stallone wanted to return to his leading character in 1990 with a return to the past, to the essence of the streets of Philadelphia, the pet shop where he met Adrian, the bar, Mickey’s gym… Many critics destroyed Rocky V, but the reality is that it is a very interesting film that already shows that facet of Balboa’s coach that has finished taking shape in the two installments of believe. Rocky takes care of Tommy Machine gun gunn, A nobody with a lot of punch to the one who lacks humility and heart, until taking him to the title, but a shoddy Don King eats the coconut for him to challenge the mythical champion and make gold. “Master against apprentice, old lion against cub…”, George Washington Duke goes so far as to say. “My ring is out there,” answers Balboa before facing one of the best street fights in movie history. In this installment, the director of the first installment (and Oscar winner) was back behind the cameras. John G Avildsen.

It was the first time that a real boxer, Tommy Morrison, played an adversary of Rocky. After proclaiming himself champion of the World Boxing Organization in 1993 against George Foreman, Morrison had to retire prematurely from boxing for being HIV positive and died on September 1, 2013 at the age of 44. The cause of death it was respiratory and metabolic acidosis and multiple organ failure.



6. Mason Dixon, the baptism of fire

The sixth and last installment of the matrix saga is, along with the first, the best considered by specialized critics. Return to the origins, to the mythical soundtrack, to commonplaces… And above all to the brutal honesty of rockowho is already 60 years old and Feels like there’s something left in the basement. This doesn’t end until you don’t feel like it ends. Sylvester Stallone gives us a speech already legendary that has inspired even books of coaching (“You know? You could fit in the palm of my hand…”) to end up facing the undefeated champion Mason Border Dixon, whom no one respects because he has never had a tall opponent… until Balboa’s umpteenth return. East Stallone’s last fight and Antonio Tarver is the most realistic of the saga, as if it were a true HBO PPV broadcast.



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Rocky Balboa’s archenemies


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