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Rocky

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Rocky

Born : 21 November 1976
City : New York
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Rocky Biography

Robert "Rocky" Balboa was born on July 7, 1951. A Roman Catholic, he quit school after the ninth grade. Up to 1975, Balboa was living in the slums of Kensington, Philadelphia working as an enforcer for a local loan shark while at the same time fighting the local club circuit. By this time, Rocky had fought in 64 fights, winning 44 (38 knockouts) and losing 20. A source of pride for Balboa was that he had never had his nose broken in a professional fight, though this would happen in his first fight with Apollo Creed. He is close friends with Paulie Pennino whose sister, Adrianna Pennino, he would ultimately marry.


Rocky got his big break when Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Apollo Creed decided that he wanted to give some local talent in Philadelphia a chance to fight for his title. After some debate, Creed chose to fight Rocky, whom Creed dismissed as a nobody. Local boxing trainer Mickey Goldmill agreed to take Rocky under his wing and trained Rocky hard. Against all odds, Rocky went the distance with Creed. Though Creed won the fight by split decision, it was the first time he had failed to knock out his opponent.


In 1976, Creed desired a rematch with Rocky, hoping to dismiss some public opinion that Balboa had been the actual victor of their first fight or that Creed had fixed the bout. Rocky got the better of Creed this time, winning the rematch by knockout and becoming heavyweight champion of the world.


Over the next few years, Rocky would successfully defend his title in ten consecutive defenses against various contenders, including the German Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Jalali. In addition, Rocky would also fight an exhibition bout against the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Thunderlips, (played by Hulk Hogan). However, in 1981, Rocky was challenged by a newcomer in the high ranks of boxing, James "Clubber" Lang, (played by Mr. T). Rocky had some issues with his trainer Mickey due to his revelation of having faced "hand-picked" challenges that were "good fighters, but not 'killers'"; Mickey insisted that he would quit as Rocky's manager if he chose to fight Lang, but Rocky convinced him to train him for one last match. Lang shoved Mickey out of the way before the match, gravely injuring him, which threw Rocky off his game. He was then knocked out in the second round, losing his title; adding to his defeat, Mickey died of a heart attack after the match, devastating Rocky. Despairing, Rocky was met by Apollo Creed, who offered to train him for a rematch and even gave him his signature red, white and blue trunks to wear. He won the second match with Lang by KO in the third round, regaining his World Heavyweight title.


By 1985, Creed and Rocky had been training together for quite some time, but Creed was itching to fight again after a five-year hiatus. He got his chance in a charity event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a fearsome Soviet World Amateur Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist-turned-professional fighter, Ivan Drago. The fight started off in a lighthearted manner, with Creed dancing on stage with James Brown performing Living in America; Creed continued his cocky demeanor in the ring with quick, fancy footwork. He started off landing a few seemingly ineffective punches on Drago, but the tide turned quickly, as Creed was brutally beaten by the end of the first round. Rocky pleaded with him to quit the fight, but Creed insisted that he would not give up. In the second round, Creed was savaged by Drago and fell limp in the ring just as Rocky threw in the towel. The bloody and unconscious Apollo then appeared to die in the ring, as he was being cradled by Rocky. Feeling responsible and facing overwhelming public outrage, Rocky set up a match with Drago, but there was a catch, as stipulated by the Soviets: the fight was to be held on Christmas Day in the Soviet Union. After flying out to the USSR, Rocky was given nothing but a simple log cabin and seemingly endless reaches of snowy, mountainous terrain in which to train.


Soviet KGB agents also followed his movements wherever he went. When it came time for the fight, Rocky faced a stadium, and by extension a country, full of Soviets cheering for Ivan Drago. The fight started off much as Drago's fight with Creed had, with Drago absorbing punch after punch with no visible signs of damage, while pounding on Rocky relentlessly. After two rounds of abuse, Rocky caught Drago with a haymaker to the eye and cut him, shocking the huge Russian and allowing Rocky an opening to pound Drago. The fight continued in a bloody back-and-forth battle, with the Soviet crowd slowly turning to Rocky's side. The fight ended dramatically with Rocky knocking out Ivan Drago in the last few seconds of the fight. After the fight, Rocky announced to the crowd, with the help of the ring translator, that a war between two fighters was much better than one between two countries, saying that "If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!" After the fight with Drago, Rocky started to experience spasms in his hands, an indication of how great the head trauma caused by Drago truly had been.


In 1986 his doctor discovered that Rocky had suffered significant brain damage, caused by repeated blows to the head. As a result, Rocky was forced to retire. His brother-in-law, Paulie, took a foolish risk with Rocky's fortune by granting power of attorney to their accountant, which led to Rocky losing all of his money. He was then forced to return to the Philadelphia slums from where he was raised. Though retired from boxing himself, Rocky started training an up-and-coming fighter, Tommy Gunn. Gunn slowly became an excellent fighter, but by Christmas 1988 he ended up leaving his trainer Rocky over an argument about whether Rocky was holding him back and won the World Heavweight title from Union Cane in January, 1989. However, he was ridiculed in the press- since he had never fought Rocky, he was not regarded as a real champion or heir to the belt. This motivated Gunn to challenge Rocky to a fight. Rocky initially declined, but their tension culminated in a street brawl in which Rocky easily defeated Gunn.


In 2006, 30 years after Apollo Creed chose Rocky to fight him , the aging champion is living out his days running a small Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, Adrian's; though his financial troubles are behind him, his wife has since died and his son is finding it difficult to get out of the shadow of his still famous father. One day, watching ESPN at a bar, he sees a computer-generated version of a hypothetical fight between the past champ, Rocky (in his prime), and the present one, Mason "The Line" Dixon. The fight has Rocky winning by knockout in the 13th round, and it stirs up some commotion. Hoping to save face by proving that he can easily beat the former champion, Dixon challenges Rocky to a charity fight. In the press, commentators dismiss Rocky's chances, assuring that the fight will be one-sided and embarrassing. After convincing his son of why he still has one fight left in him, and training one last time, Rocky gets back in the ring. Dixon starts out the fight quite impressively, only allowing Rocky to land 9 punches out of 13, in the first round. However, in the second round, Dixon breaks his hand on a low blow which hits Rocky's hip. As a result, Dixon is unable to knock Rocky out. Rocky and Dixon duke it out for the entire distance of the match. Though Dixon ends up winning the fight by split decision, Rocky's entourage has almost left the arena by the time this is announced, having accomplished his goal of simply proving that the advertised "Will vs. Skill" was not nearly as one-sided a match as was widely thought.

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