The archenemies of Rocky Balboa

There are cinematographic characters that transcend the movies and become popular icons, modern classics that never go out of style. It is the case of Rockythird highest grossing saga in the history of cinema only behind starwars 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, second spin-off of believethat of the return of his most feared archenemy, the assassin of Apollo (father of Adonis): nothing more and nothing less than the one remembered Ivan Dragowhose gaze has been filled with more hatred and rage in these 34 years that have passed since his humiliating defeat against the persevering fighter from Philadelphia in Rocky IV.





Before Adonis confronts Victor Dragoson of Iván, in Spanish cinemas, we review the bloody battles that Rocky has lived 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 every year and shout “Yo, Adrian, I did it!!” when they arrive.

1. Apollo Creed, the quack dandy

Carl Weathers immortalized for posterity the master of jap, that narcissistic and sly 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 to see losing Chuck Wepner before Mohamed Ali, because he was able to endure 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 fight between the father of Adonis 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 pushes Rocky with everything to accept an epic rematch whose winner will be decided by just a second of difference. As is the hallmark of the deformed lip boxer, the resistance of your chin and his ability to turn around when no one expects him, drawing strength from weakness, will bring Apollo down the street of bitterness in another hyper-dramatic 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 precedent of Mayweather against McGregor and even Uncle Paulie gets his share. Rocky ends up taking off his gloves to take down a monstrous guy who grows two heads out of him. Hogan took advantage of the success of the film to star in some seedy action by-products in the 1980s and part of the 1990s.




3. Clubber Lang, a beast of nature

In Rocky III, Balboa is already world heavyweight champion, he appears in the Muppet Shows 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 blackpowera hormonal 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 (amazing 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 in the face of his trainer’s death, Apollo enters the scene to return the tiger’s gaze to Colt. Clubber accepts the rematch, “because it will be a pleasure to beat that guy up again.” The combat, not as long as the previous ones in the saga, presents a slimmer, faster Balboa and that puts into practice the teachings of the father of Adonis to subdue the brown beast of Lang.



4. Iván Drago’s jaw of steel

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 applied) until who ran into a two meter tall Swede and a huge punch: Dolph Lundgren. But before getting in 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 measure himself against the Russian machine. The Italian-American boxer trains harder than ever lifting wagons with people inside, doing impossible sit-ups and running in minus 30 degrees under KGB surveillance. “Rocky is cutting down the Russian tree,” the American commentator says in full combat. If “the look of the tiger” was the phrase of Rocky III, “there is no pain” is the one of this fourth filmthe highest grossing in the saga and branded by some as Reagan’s propaganda tool in the middle of the Cold War (it was the first film that dared to openly speak about doping in sport, a fiction that was later shown to be a painful reality both in the USSR and later Russia).

Years later, Lundgren confessed that he was abused 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 has been living in ignominy for 34 years for losing against Balboa and wants his son to remove his thorn by taking the title of world champion 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 main character in 1990 with a return to the past, to the essence of the streets of Philadelphia, the pet store 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 trashy Don King eats his coconut so that he challenges the mythical champion and win gold. “Master against apprentice, old lion against cub…” George Washington Duke says. “My ring is out there,” Balboa replies before facing one of the best street fights in movie history. In this installment, the director of the first installment (and Oscar winner) was once again behind the cameras. John G. Avildsen.

It was the first time that a real boxer, Tommy Morrison, embodied 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 due to being a carrier of HIV and died on September 1, 2013 at the age of 44. The cause of death was respiratory and metabolic acidosis and multiple organ failure.



6. Mason Dixon, The Baptism of Fire

The sixth and last installment of the main saga is, together 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 isn’t over until you feel like it’s over. Sylvester Stallone gives us a speech already legendary that has inspired even books of coaching (“You know? You fit in the palm of my hand…”) to end up facing the undefeated champion Mason Border Dixon, whom nobody respects because he has never had a tall opponent… until the umpteenth return of Balboa. East Stallone’s last fight and Antonio Tarver is the most realistic of the saga, as if it were an authentic HBO PPV broadcast.



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The archenemies of Rocky Balboa


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