Rocky Balboa is arguably the world’s most famous boxing match participant. Having been the star in over 50 movies, his opponents have come from all over the world and in many different forms. Take a look at this list and see if you can remember them all
Joe “The Boxer” Boxington
Back in the early Rocky movies, the opponent’s weren’t too imaginitive, but some of them still held a certain charm. Joe Boxington first appeared in Rocky XII and died in the ring before they brought him back as a cyborg in Rocky XX
Dr “Mysterio” Jones
In Rocky XVII, Balboa famously fights his Doctor in one continuous 90 minute take. No context is given to the fight and what little dialogue there is consists almost entirely of famous literary quotes. Mysterio eventually goes down, but not without famously putting a gypsy curse on Rocky Balboa as he falls.
Who could forget the fight that started it all? Way back in Rocky X, Balboa fought Steve Buscemi outside the ring. Inspiring Rocky to finally follow his fate and become a boxer.
By the time Rocky VVXI comes around, the writers were churning out two movies a year, rapidly running out of interesting ideas. The lowest point was “Paul”, an opponent who has a screen time of less than a minute and takes a single hit before falling. But of course it birthed the legendary movie quote ” The death of Paul, is the death of all of us”. Classic.
Winston “The Witchdoctor” Leonard
In an attempt to address the diversity issue in the Rocky movies, Rocky IX introduced it’s first black character. Spouting phrases such as “they hit better than that in Africa” and “wait until my tribe hears about this”, the character was universally panned for its stereotypical. Stallone defended the character stating that it was “based on a guy I knew but never really spoke to”.
Of course this movie starts out like any other Rocky movie before revealing that Balboa’s new co-worker at the deli is non other than Joe Boxington’s evil adopted brother out for revenge. This is the movie Rocky eventually gets his IBS diagnosis which became a continuing thread throughout future movies.
Midway through the Rocky series, Rocky started battling more obscure opponents, one of these was a literal representative of the Inland Revenue Service. Rocky XXI became known for it’s exhaustive and accurate renditions of lengthy courtroom tax battles and its impact on both sides. A young Matt LeBlanc stars
Much like Batman had Bat-Mite and Superman had Mr Myxlplyx, in Rocky XIII, Balboa had ‘Lil Rock’. Appearing in a dream sequence and eventually spilling out into real life, Lil Rock causes Rocky no end of slapstick japes. Rocky eventually defeats Lil Rock by saying his name backwards into a mirror.
Lois “Sugar Hips” McGarnagle
Dressed in pink shorts and sporting corn rows in her hair, Sugar Hips became a cult classic with fans. Her famous shout “you can’t hit a woman” was screamed before every blow she landed, leaving Rocky battling with his conscience for most of the movie. Eventually she was defeated outside the ring using reason and calm discussion. Rocky’s IBS was particularly prevalent in this movie.