The Rocky series is celebrated for two reasons – cheesy yet motivational montage sequences and brutal bouts in the ring.
Following the original movie’s true underdog success at the Oscars, knockout thrills and guilty plesasures became the franchise’s focal point until 2006’s Rocky Balboa delivered a more grounded take on the character.
In 2015, Sylvester Stallone’s Italian Stallion returned to the fore as mentor to his one-time title rival’s son in Creed, an acclaimed spinoff which took the series in an interesting new direction.
Who’d have thought we’d get to see two quality Rocky movies after the pointless fifth instalment left Balboa out for the count in 1990? This was a comeback comparable to Muhammad Ali’s glorious return from boxing exile in 1970!
During his fighting career, Rocky has battled some memorable opponents inside the ring, from the
flamboyant Apollo Creed to the Soviet powerhouse Ivan Drago; but what was his definitive slugfest? And how does it rank against young Adonis’s encounters?
13. Rocky Vs. Tommy Gunn (Rocky V)
As street fights go, this student-mentor showdown is as hard-hitting and over the top as we’d come to expect from Rocky, but it was a match that didn’t need to happen.
Seriously, what was the point? Balboa gives his former student the mother of all beatdowns to teach him a lesson for being a massive douchebag, exposing his protege as a false champion in the process.
But given that it took place outside of the ring, the outcome was essentially meaningless and the entire exercise as pointless as, well, Rocky V.