Sylvester Stallone shares a video of himself choreographing a fight with Antonio Tarver for Rocky Balboa. With a career spanning upwards of five decades, Stallone has cemented himself as one of the greatest action stars of all time. His first major claim to fame was writing and starring in the watershed boxing drama Rocky in 1976, which launched its respective franchise and made Stallone’s name almost synonymous with “champ.”
Rocky’s cultural impact led to the Stallone-helmed follow-ups Rocky II, III, and IV, with the latter being an unapologetic, massively successful byproduct of the hyper-muscular 1980s. Following Rocky’s battle with the seemingly invincible Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the Italian Stallion returned in 1990's Rocky V, which saw the Philadelphia slugger lose his wealth and be forced into retirement. The sequel failed to connect with audiences and is largely considered the worst film in the Rocky franchise. Over a decade later, Stallone returned for what he thought would be one last round against Mason ‘The Line’ Dixon (Tarver) in Rocky Balboa—a film that many were skeptical about but ended up reviving the franchise in a big way.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Rocky: Why The Creed Reboot Worked (But Rocky V Didn't)
Stallone often takes to social media to share behind-the-scenes photos and videos from his work on the Rocky franchise and other past films. Recently, the 75-year-old actor posted a video of himself and Tarver choreographing the fight for Rocky Balboa. Check it out below:
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Stallone has always been an extraordinarily physical actor, with his Rocky training montages and climactic fights inspiring generations to hit the gym. As mentioned above, those fight scenes “definitely hurt along the way.” During the filming of Rocky IV, Lundgren hit Stallone so hard that he sent him to the hospital. That said, Stallone was around 60 years old when filming Rocky Balboa, which led many to mock the film’s premise that saw the iconic boxer stepping back into the ring. However, Stallone’s commitment paid off as Rocky Balboa was ultimately praised by critics and earned over $156 million at the box office on a budget of only $24 million.
Rocky Balboa and its nostalgic bout helped to bring the Italian Stallion back into pop culture’s lexicon and served as a launching pad for Ryan Coogler’s spinoff Creed. While the franchise’s sixth installment was meant to be its final chapter, Stallone recognized the potential in a film focusing on Apollo Creed’s (Carl Weathers) illegitimate son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan). Both Creed and Creed II were critical and commercial successes, with the latter earning Stallone his second Oscar nomination in nearly 40 years for portraying the same character. In Creed II, Rocky appeared to pass the torch and retire for good. While Stallone has since teased a potential Rocky prequel series, Rocky Balboa will likely remain the last time audiences saw the now 76-year-old actor swapping punches with a heavyweight champ.