When I was young, the Rocky series was a favorite of mine. Although I am kind of a nerd, I am a huge sports fan. It is a paradox that confuses my girlfriend. Boxing has always been an underlying passion. I love watching old boxing matches. Guys like Joe Frazier and George Foreman were cool dudes. How could you not want to be like them? However, I caught a recent showing of a couple of the entries in the series on Ion Television. It was a shock when I watched it this time around. I will never be a stickler for realism in cinema but the Rocky series is about boxing and the boxing in it is shockingly bad.
The one thing I admire about Sylvestor Stallone is that he writes and directs. To me, you could make the worse movie ever made and, as long as you wrote and directed it, I will cut you some slack. Ironically, on December 7, 2010, Sylvester Stallone was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Museum, for paying tribute to boxers in writing and creating the underdog character of Rocky. I can understand that but, frankly, it is a travesty. In the films, Rocky’s matches are always slugfest.
Above is Rocky vs. Ivan Drago.
This is from the Rumble in the Jungle. George Foreman vs. Muhammad Ali. In this match, Foreman wore himself out punching Ali and ultimately lost because of it. Notice the difference. Rocky and Drago are throwing punches at a very unrealistic pace. At this pace, they wouldn’t last all that long.
This is Rocky vs. Clubber Lang. As you can see, the swing like a lunatic method is still employed. Rocky Balboa is an undersized fighter and getting into slugging matches is suicidal for this type of boxer.
This is Joe Frazier vs. George Foreman. Notice that Frazier’s arms are up and he is burrowing his way in. He is not wildly swinging from his heels. If I were to really make a real life comparison to Rocky, it would be Joe Frazier. Notice the difference? Rocky doesn’t keep his hands up. He leaves openings that any boxer could take advantage of. Rocky would never be a world champion.
As well, leaving himself open the way he does, Rocky wouldn’t last long in life either. Fighters have been killed in the ring and leaving your chin exposed like he does is the quickest way to speed that up.
Apollo Creed vs. Ivan Drago. Again, the boxing is almost cartoonish. This would be like if the pitchers in Field of Dreams pitched underhanded. Bad, just bad.