“Rocky was never really about boxing, it was about personal triumph”: When Sylvester Stallone opened up about the fight that inspired Rocky

Sylvester Stallone may be one of the biggest names in the acting world today, but as everyone knows, it all started with the blockbuster boxing film Rocky. The movie not only turned around the fortune of a struggling Stallone, who wrote the famous character for the silver screen, but also managed to become a pop culture sensation that continues to exist in some form in contemporary times.

Rocky was much more than just a boxing film since it was inspired by a particular boxing match that Stallone witnessed in 1975 – a match that would go on to change the perspective of the young actor. In less than a year, he would come up with the film that would define an entire generation.

Sylvester Stallone spoke about this match to GQ in a throwback interview, where he recalled a boxing match he had witnessed between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, the so-called Bayonne Bleeder. When Wepner managed to take down the mighty Muhammad Ali with a knockout, it opened doors of imagination for Stallone.

Sylvester Stallone recalled:

“Chuck Wepner was basically a guy who everybody considered a joke. He was known as the Bayonne Bleeder, and it was clear that his only notable contribution to the history of pugilism would be just how badly Ali would destroy him…The odds on Wepner were basically a zillion to one…He was terribly awkward and unskilled, and he looked like a heavy bag with eyeballs. It was really sad. Then, all of a sudden, something incredible happened. From nowhere, Wepner knocked down the immortal Ali.”

The actor continued:

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“Suddenly, he went from being a complete joke to being somebody whom everybody watching could identify with—because everybody’s thinking, Yes, I’d like to do that! I’d like to do the impossible,…and at some point I realize that the whole thing’s a metaphor, and I realized that it wasn’t really about boxing. Actually, Rocky was never really about boxing, it was about personal triumph.”

So this became the story behind Rocky, which would go on to become one of the most famed franchises of all time.

Sylvester Stallone confirmed that Rocky was written in less than four days

After the tremendous success of the film, it was hard not to hear all sorts of stories about the same. There was always the rumor that Rocky was written in a short span of time. In the same interview mentioned above, Stallone confirmed that he indeed wrote the entire screenplay of the film in three and a half days.

As confirmed by Stallone, the writing did not happen immediately after the fight, but some time later, when he got the opportunity with Chartoff and Winkler. This ultimately led to the furious writing process, which was aided by Stallone’s wife working on the manuscript. Sylvester Stallone said:

“Yes, it is. I had this opportunity with Chartoff and Winkler, and I wasn’t going to let it slip by. I was young, and I had an incredible amount of energy, and I wrote it in a fury. I was very excited about the whole thing. I had a feel for the streets, and I loved films like Mean Streets.”

Thus began the journey of Rocky to herald the start of a franchise that continues to exist even today, with Creed 3 being the latest one. After this, both Rocky and Sylvester Stallone were immortalized in Hollywood.

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Source: newstars.edu.vn

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