How Rocky Balboa became White America’s answer to boxing.
Aside from the Eminem blog, This is probably the second blog that I’m tackling the racial issue and how it affects the sporting world and pop culture. As a kid growing up, I was always a fan of the Rocky movies. Rocky Balboa was the epitome of what an underdog truly was, He was always the smaller, less stronger, and less smarter than his opponents. Rocky has takened on Wrestlers and Boxers with them reigning from the biggest(Thunderlips) baddest(Clubber Lang) to the most intimidating(Ivan Drago) and always proceeded to have his hand raised in victory.
The Rocky movies were considered inspirational. Here you had Apollo Creed, The Flamboyant Muhammad Ali like character bored with his competition issuing an open challenge to any boxer in the world. Rocky Balboa, A 30 plus lucky club fighter struggling to meet ends ended up getting the luck of the draw and gave Apollo Creed the fight of his life by almost taking his title. The movie ended up being the smash success that opened up the hollywood doors for Sylvester Stallone and he hasn’t left it since. More Rocky movies would come out along with Rambo, Cobra, Lock Up, and Tango and Cash made Stallone possibly the biggest action star in the 80s.
Now this is where the gravy train stops. As I gotten older and started to open up my eyes. I’ve slowly but surely seen how the media treated the Rocky movies as if they were real life. The Heavyweight Boxing world are mostly dominated by Black Boxers and Black Champions. There havent been a White world champion since Rocky Marciano and Jake Lamotta. Those two were magnificent boxers but they never gotten the overpraised that Stallone’s character has gotten. Rocky Balboa couldnt box a lick, He was always the guy that would always get his ass kicked by the bigger and badder black or foreign boxers but some how he would always have his shoulder raised in victory despite the punishment that would kill the average man.
If you really look at the movies, You get to see how ridiculously fantasized these movies were. Example here we have a 6’3 Russian in Ivan Drago. A roided up killer with the punching power weighing a thousand pounds that kills Rocky’s best friend Apollo Creed in Two rounds. Rocky vowing for revenge wants a piece of Drago to avenge his slain friend and wants a non sanctioned bout in Drago’s Country Russia.
Rocky leaves the Country for one year to train for this fight, He runs in the blizzard, he’s chopping down trees, He’s using a lot of Mother nature’s sources while Drago is using modern science with steroids to train for this fight. The fight takes place in Russia in the midst of a hostile Anti American Russian crowd and Drago proceeds to give Rocky possibly the worst beatings that he has ever received in the ring:
Rocky was thrown around, knocked down over 10 times, and caught blows to the head that were even more lethal than the ones that killed Apollo but yet somehow in the fantasy world, Rocky withstands all of this severe punishment and gives the Russian the fight of his life along with earning the cheers from the Russian crowd which is pretty silly considering the Russians can’t stand the U.S. It’s just another example of fantasy in American films that being takened as reality.
Now before people come criticizing me, I would have let all of this slide until I seen a picture of the Rocky Statue as if Rocky Balboa is a real life character! They have this statue outside of the Philladepha spectrum. I have always thought that they had this statue for only the Rocky III movie but it amazed me that they actually kept this statue as if it was apart of real history and yet not having the statue of Julius Erving who really put Philly sports on the map with his unique basketball style(Which would soon be copied by Jordan).
When the Rocky movies were successful, Hollywood America couldn’t believe their luck,They wanted to milk this Rocky Balboa character for every ounce of worth until they convinced you that Rocky was an actual real character. There have been six Rocky Movies since the late 70s and all of them with the exception of 5 have gotten critical phrase. The movies while entertaining should have been kept as that ENTERTAINMENT. Nothing more or less.