Robert "Rocky" Balboa was born on June 6th, 1945 to Roman Catholic parents in the harder side of Philadelphia. He would go on to quit school after the 9th grade and followed the advice of his father who said he was not born with brains so use your brawn. Rocky trained his body for boxing and in his early twenties meet Micky Goodmill, a former boxer and current owner of Mighty Mick's Boxing. The relationship was very antagonizing since Mick would often complain Rocky was a bum, weak, and a good-for-nothing since he believed he was not living up to his potential as a boxer. Rocky would not only fight on the boxing circuit, but would frequent the club scene of Philadelphia for more fights and added money. The meager money Rocky made from this was not enough to sustain himself so Rocky began to work for a loan shark named Tony Gazzo as an enforcer. While barely making ends meet. By 1975, Rocky had fought in 64 fights, winning 44 (38 KO'S) and losing 20 and was proud of the fact he had never broken his nose in a fight. Rocky's best friend was a meat packing plant worker named Paulie Pennino and Rocky had a crush on his sister Adrian.
While Rocky is both fighting boxing matches as well as in the Cambria Fight Club, which is nicknamed the Bucket of Blood, Rocky gets his big break. Apollo Creed the current Heavyweight Champion was scheduled to fight Mac Lo Green, but Mac dropped out after injuring his hand during training. Apollo proposed they give an unknown fighter the shot at the title. Rocky was picked due to his nickname "The Italian Stallion". Apollo figured that for the Bicentennial match, what would be better than an Italian since an Italian discovered America in the first place. Rocky accepts and begins training with Mick. Apollo himself takes his training lightly while Rocky even resorts to practicing on the meat at Paulie's meat plant which is even broadcast on the news which makes Apollo's trainer Tony worried. Rocky also begins dating Adrian which sours his friendship with Paulie when he tries to break Rocky's arms with a baseball bat one drunk night. Rocky confides in Adrian that he believes he will lose the match but hoped he would at least "go the distance" since know fighter had lasted 15 rounds with Apollo. If he did that Rocky "Wouldn't just be some bum around the neighborhood".
New Year's Day 1976 the match takes place in the Spectrum arena in Philadelphia. Once the fight started Apollo figured he'd win easily though Rocky was able to knock the champ down during round 1. Nobody had ever knocked down Apollo before in the ring and this showed that Rocky meant business. Apollo also got his nose broken for the first time. After 14 grueling rounds Rocky went down and nobody excepted him to get up. Even Mic told him to stay down. Rocky through sheer force of will got up to fight the 15th round. After the fight ended Apollo won by split decision (8:7, 7:8, 9:6), and both agreed their would be no rematch. Rocky and Adrian embrace and declare their love.
After their fight both Apollo and Rocky are taken to the same hospital due to the extent of their injuries and Apollo openly challenged Rocky to another fight in front of the press. Rocky declines on account of his injuries particularly a detached retina that could lead to eventual blindness. Rocky is set to retire from boxing and Adrian agrees and supports this decision. Rocky is able to get endorsement deals with an agent and with his new money proposes to Adrian and they marry shortly afterward in a small ceremony and learn that Adrian is indeed pregnant with their child. Meanwhile Apollo begins receiving hate mail for his performance during the fight in Philadelphia and becomes obsessed with fighting Rocky again. He starts a smear campaign to get Rocky out of retirement and into his ring again. After this Rocky's inexperience with money leads to some financial trouble and he begins looking for work. Since he is a high school dropout he does not have many options. Rocky goes back to Mic to see if he will train him for more fights and Mic initially refuses worrying about Rocky's health, but relents after seeing Apollo trash talk about Rocky on TV. Rocky's training starts off poorly since he is not focused and his wife Adrian is against the idea of a rematch with Apollo. Paulie confronts his sister about her lack of support, this however causes her to faint and go into premature labor. Rocky rushes to the hospital where the baby is born healthy, but Adrian has slipped into a coma. Rocky refuses to leave her bedside until she awakes and will not even see his new baby until he and Adrian can see him together.
When Adrian comes out of her coma and they finally see the baby she agrees and gives her support for the rematch. Rocky quickly gets into shape for the fight. Mic even trained Rocky to fight right handed to both confuse Apollo and protect his injured eye. Apollo told the press that Rocky's last fight was a fluke and he could knock Balboa out in two rounds. Rocky does go down but lasts longer that two rounds proving he was no fluke. Just like last time the match goes to the 15th round and Apollo has built up a large lead in points that Rocky cannot beat. All he has to do is stay away from Rocky and Apollo would win. Apollo is so obsessed with knocking Rocky out that the two of them go toe to toe in the center of the ring, both exhausted beyond belief. Rocky is able to land a hard punch to Apollo's face and knock him down, but loses his balance and falls with him. Both combatants try to get up and are able to hold the ropes for support, but Apollo falls back down and Rocky is able to get to his feet. Rocky wins the fight in the 15th round by KO and is the new Heavyweight Champion of the world. During his victory speech he thanks Apollo for the fight, Mic for training him, and God for the opportunity. Rocky states "Except for my kid being born, this is the greatest night in the history of my life. I just want to say one thing to my wife who's home. Yo Adrian....I DID IT!".
After three years of successfully defending his title as the world Heavyweight Champion, Rocky had achieved a high level of fame and celebrity status. During an unveiling of a statue in his honor a rising new boxer names Clubber Lang openly challenges Rocky in front of the media and makes suggestive comments towards Adrian to entice Rocky to fight him. Clubber is the current number one contender in the heavyweight division and he is sick of how easily Balboa has held the title. Mic initially tries to quit being Rocky's manager if he tries to fight Clubber stating that everyone Rocky has fought since Apollo was a tough guy but no killer like Clubber is in the ring. After convincing Mic to train him for one last fight they get to work, but like Apollo during their first match Rocky takes his training easy while Clubber trains like his life depends on it. Which intern proves Rocky has become to civilized as a champion. The match up was set for 15 August 1981 and the day of the fight both Rocky and Clubber's entourages got into a scuffle which left Mic on the ground suffering from a heart attack. This threw an already under trained Rocky further off his game and the fight ended with a 2nd round KO with Clubber as the winner. Rocky went to see Mic in the locker room and tried to get him to go to the hospital. When Mic asked about the fight Rocky said it ended with a 2nd round KO, but did not tell him who one. Mic said he loved Rocky then died in Rocky's arms.
After a period of depression Rocky is approached by Apollo Creed who offers to train him for a rematch with Clubber in exchange for "a big favor". At first Rocky isn't able to put forth much effort to training until Adrian helps him come to terms with Mic's death. Apollo brings Rocky to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles. After training and setting up the rematch, Balboa goes to fight Clubber at Madison Square Garden in New York. Once the match started Rocky fought in a style that was a mix of Apollo's and his own. Rocky even used the rope-a-dope defense of Muhammad Ali. Rocky was able to win with a 3rd Round KO by taking everything Clubber had and making him wear himself out. Rocky was once again the world Heavyweight Champion.
After Rocky regains his title, a Soviet boxer and former gold medalist Ivan Drago comes to American with his wife and trainers to prove he is the greatest boxer alive. His perfect amateur record does not do much to win over the American crowds who believe that Drago is a steroid user, especially when his punch registers 2,000 psi on the machine. Apollo Creed through patriotic zeal steps forward to challenge the Russian boxer. During a press conference Apollo talks down about his opponent and is in turn called a has been which fuels a confrontation. Rocky, Tony "Duke" Evans and Paulie are in Apollo's corner for the match which takes place in Las Vegas. After a very patriotic display of an opening the 3 round exhibition is underway and Apollo is very badly beaten in the first round. Rocky and Tony plead with him to stop the fight, but Apollo makes Rocky promise to not stop the fight no matter what. The 2nd round ends worse than the first since Ivan Drago ends up beating Apollo to death in the ring and coldly remarked when he won "If he dies...he dies".
Rocky feeling guilty about Apollo's death agrees to fight Drago in Moscow on Christmas Day. He takes Paulie and Tony "Duke" Evans as his corner-men and begins training in the wilds of Siberia in contrast to the high tech arena used by Drago. Once the match day has arrived Rocky is brought into the Palace of Sports in Moscow where, paralleling Apollo, a patriotic showcase his held in the Soviet Union's honor. This puts the crowd against Rocky who boo him immediately. The fight starts and Ivan almost shrugs off Rocky's hits and begins to beat him down, however Rocky is able to land a hay maker that cuts Drago's face in the 2nd round. The matches go back and forth, but Rocky through sheer force of will persevere and even earns cheers from the crowd. Once the fight gets to the 15th match Rocky is able to land a hard hit and KO Ivan for the win.
After returning home from the Soviet Union Rocky is greeted by his family. While Tony his trainer is praising him on his victory Rocky is in noticeable discomfort and has his wife summoned to him. His hands are shaking and he cannot make them stop. In distress he calls out to Mick his dead former trainer hinting at some trauma. At a press conference a manager named George Washington Dukes tries to goad Rocky to fight the current number 1 contender Union Cane, but on Adrian's insistence Rocky declines to fight for the time being. Rocky visits a doctor who mistakenly diagnosis him with brain damage and is ruled unfit to fight anymore. After returning home to their lavish estate Rocky is shocked to see that everything is being sold off. Paulie had Rocky sing over power of attorney to his account who squandered his money on bad investment deals and had not paid Rocky's taxes in 6 years leaving them broke. Rocky and his family are forced to return to the bad side of Philadelphia since Paulie kept his home there. Adrian returns to working in the pet store where she worked when she meet Rocky, Paulie returns to the meat packing plant, and Rocky begins training fighters out of Mic's old gym since that was left to Rocky's son Robert so the IRS couldn't touch it. Rocky later meets a young fighter from Oklahoma named Tommy Gunn who gets Rocky to agree to train him.
Through Rocky's tutelage Tommy begins rising the ranks and becomes one of the top contenders in boxing. Rocky even lets him stay at their home and gives him Apollo's red, white, and blue shorts to wear when he fights. This causes a strain on Robert who begins acting out in school and at home. George Washington Duke sees an opportunity and begins turning Gunn away from Rocky with promises of fame, fortune, and a shot at the title. Tommy was already frustrated at being called "the clone ranger" or "Rocky's Gunn" by the press so he quickly turned away from Rocky. realizing Tommy never had his spirit Rocky repaired his relationship with his son. Tommy went on to defeat Union Cane to become the Heavyweight Champion of the world, but was chastised by both the media and the fans for the ease of his victory and the fact that Union Cane never defeated Balboa for the championship and was just a paper champion. In a bid to earn his respect Tommy challenged Rocky to a boxing match on the streets of Philadelphia. Rocky refused and Paulie ended up rebuking Tommy by calling him a piece of trash which ended with Paulie of the ground. Rocky then stepped up to fight Tommy though not in the ring. Tommy was able to beat the older Rocky down and thought he had won, but Rocky after seeing a mental image of his old trainer Mic got up for one more round and fought and defeated Tommy in a street fight and even knocked him into a SEPTA bus. He then proceeded to knock out George Washington Duke with a single upper cut while his wife and son watched.
Rocky is now in his late fifties and is a widower since Adrian had died from ovarian cancer. He runs a restaurant in her honor that his named after her and has taken his modest lifestyle to heart. Long after his money problems he has a strained relationship with his son Robert who is a corporate employee. Paulie is still working at the meat packing plant and helping Rocky when he can. Every year Rocky goes through a routine where he visits all of the spots him and Adrian did when she was alive like the ice skating rink and her old pet shop. Rocky meets an older little Marie who he met in (Rocky) when she was a little trouble maker. She is now a single mother to her son Stephenson aka Steps born to a Jamaican father. Rocky quickly befriends the two and even gives Steps a job at the restaurant and they adopt a dog together and name him Punchie. One day ESPN runs a simulation of Rocky in his prime fighting the current Heavyweight Champion Mason "The Line" Dixon which puts Mason losing to Rocky. This causes quite a stir and Rocky applies to get a boxing license once again to stay in shape and help with some inner demons while Mason's agent tries to get Rocky to agree to an exhibition match with the current champ. The agent sets up the charity event for Las Vegas. Robert becomes angry at his father for doing this since he feels he can never get out of his celebrity fathers shadow, Rocky rebukes this saying "it ain't about how hard you hit "it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward". Later they makeup over Adrian's grave and Robert quits his job to serve as his dads corner-man.
Rocky gets Tony "Duke" Evans to train him once again and since Rocky has lost his speed with age they focus on pure power to build hurting bombs for Mason. With Steps, Robert, Tony and Paulie in his corner the exhibition match is underway at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Mason dominates the 1st round though ends up hurting his hand in the 2nd on Rocky's hip. This gives him an opening and makes the match more even. By the end of the 10th round match both fighters are still standing and Mason wins by split decision proving 1 : That Rocky still has what it takes, and 2 : Mason was a worthy Heavyweight Champ. Rocky leaves the ring for the last time to a cheering crowd. Rocky returns home to Philadelphia and visits Adrian's grave again to thank her for helping him, saying: "Yo Adrian, we did it" and waves goodbye.
Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed seeks out Rocky and asks him to train him.
Rocky is sought out by Ivan Drago, who proposes a fight between Adonis and his son, Viktor.
Powers and Abilities
Rocky was a noted boxer in his day and became the Heavyweight champion of the world and rightfully deserved that title. Rocky fights with a southpaw (left handed) style that can give him an edge over the normally right handed opponents. Balboa's normal style includes traits of brawler, insider fighter and swarmer where he tries to work his opponent into the ropes in order to attack the body causing internal damage that hampers his opponents breathing, moves, and overall health. The only exception being his rematch with Clubber Lang where he fought as an outside fighter. Rocky's strength in the ring was unmatched and was know to have the most devastating body blows in the sport. He caused internal bleeding in Apollo Creed during their first fight and broke Ivan Drago's ribs during their Christmas Day match in Moscow. Mason Dixon even said that it felt like Rocky had bricks in his gloves and this was Rocky's last fight when he was in his fifties.
Balboa has an uncanny knack to sense weakness in an opponent using every shift of momentum to his advantage to wear his opponent down. Rocky's most useful ability is his seemingly superhuman stamina. He can take almost anything and keep going as long as his head is in the game. "Its not about how hard you hit, its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward". Due to this ability Rocky can keep his hands in a lower position ready to strike instead of blocking high. Rocky was even able to stand up to Ivan Drago who's punch was measured at around 2,000 psi which is more powerful than a close range shotgun blast.
Rocky was a more well versed fighter than most realize as his street fight against Tommy Gunn proved. Rocky was able to hold his own and win by a clear margin due to all his time fighting in the Philadelphia Clubs and on the streets before his big breakout fight against Apollo Creed.
Professional Record (including unsanctioned): 81 Fights, 57 Wins (51 KO), 23 Losses and 1 Draw
Professional Record (sanctioned): 79 Fights, 57 Wins (51 KO), 22 Losses and 0 Draws (Rocky's fight with Tommy Gunn is not included since it was an illegal street fight)
Exhibition record: 2 Fights, 0 Wins, 1 Loss, 1 Draw
|Result||Opponent||Outcome||Round||Venue and Location||Date||Notes|
|LOSS||Mason "The Line" Dixon||Split Decision||10||Mandalay Bay Resort - Las Vegas, NV||Feb 26, 2006||Charity Exhibition Match|
|WIN||Ivan Drago||KO||15||Palace of Sports - Moscow Russia||Dec 25, 1985||Formally retired after this match|
|WIN||Clubber Lang||KO||3||Madison SQ Garden - New York City, NY||Jan 12, 1982||Wins back the Heavyweight Champion Title|
|LOSS||Clubber Lang||KO||2||Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA||Aug 15, 1981||Loses Heavyweight Champion Title|
|DRAW||Thunderlips Denderbeams||None||1||Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA||May 15, 1981||12th annual Wrestling vs Boxing Charity Event|
|WIN||Matt Delarue||KO||5||MGM Grand Hotel - Las Vegas, NV||Nov 07, 1980||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Joe Green||KO||2||Korakuen Hall - Tokyo, Japan||Jun 17, 1980||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Philip Folsom||KO||2||Milwaukee Arena - Milwaukee, WI||Oct 24, 1979||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Dave Fossan||KO||2||Nassau Colesium - Long Island, NY||Feb 09, 1979||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Bobby Jalali||KO||3||Royal Albert Hall - London, England||Oct 03, 1978||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Vito Soto||KO||1||Monte Carlo Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco||Feb 16, 1978||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Big Yank Ball||KO||6||Caesars Palace - Las Vegas, NV||Nov 13, 1977||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Joe Czak||KO||2||Radio City Music Hall - New York City, NY||Aug 01, 1977||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Trevor Faus||KO||1||Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA||Apr 06, 1977||Defends the Title|
|WIN||Apollo Creed||KO||15||Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA||Nov 25, 1976||Wins the Heavyweight Champion Title|
|LOSS||Apollo Creed||Split Decision||15||Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA||Jan 01, 1976||For the Heavyweight Champion Title|
|WIN||Spider Rico||KO||2||Philadelphia Chapel - Philadelphia, PA||Nov 25, 1975||Club Fight|
Joe Kubert was trying to create a newspaper strip, however, it never materialized.
An adaptation of Rocky written by female manga artist Tamiki Noda was published in Monthly Shonen Magazine in May 1977.
Rocky Super Action Boxing - A Colecovision game based upon Rocky III.
Rocky - Published in 1987 on the Sega Master System, Rocky follows the storyline of Rocky III and includes Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago as playable characters.
Rocky - Published in 2002 for the Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, and Gameboy Advanced, gave us a more updated boxing game. Including training modes to build characters speed and strength along with more boxers than just Apollo, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and Rock Balboa.
Rocky: Legends - Published 2004 for the PS2 and the Xbox Rocky: Legends is a sequel to the previous game. Legends has a career mode for the main four boxers (Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago) Rocky's campaign takes place during the majority of his career where he has to fight Apollo twice (Rocky and Rocky II storyline), Clubber Lang twice (Rocky III), Ivan Drago (Rocky IV) and ends with his street fight with Tommy Gunn (Rocky V).
Rocky Balboa - Published in 2007 for the PSP only, this game is similar to Rocky: Legends except that their is no training mode to power up characters. Rocky himself is playable in two forms that vary in weight and age. His campaign starts with his club fight against Spider Rico and ends with the exhibition match versus Mason "The Line" Dixon.
ROCKY - Published in 2016 for Android e iOS.
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions - Published in 2021 for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 ,Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X|S.