Apollo Creed (August 17, 1943 - August 31 1985) was the main antagonist in Rocky and Rocky II and a deuteragonist in Rocky III and Rocky IV. He was initially portrayed as the World Heavyweight Champion until Rocky Balboa defeated Apollo Creed in the rematch in Rocky II . He is portrayed by Carl Weathers.
Creed initially was Rocky Balboa's target in his quest to become champion. After their two fights together, they remained on friendly terms. Apollo steps in to train Rocky after the death of his trainer, Mickey in Rocky III.
Rocky Legends Edit
On the video game Rocky Legends, Apollo's Career Mode features a younger Creed before he was the Champion. Apollo Creed first met his trainer, Tony "Duke" Evers at an national amateur boxing championship. Duke was an old boxer reaching the end of his career. After Creed beat Duke at the championships, Duke retired and agreed to be Apollo's trainer. The rest of his Career Mode deals with Apollo's rise to the title and eventual two matches with Rocky balboa.
Creed was world champion, taking a fight with lightly regarded Rocky Balboa. Creed treated the fight as more of a show than an actual fight until Rocky knocked him down, the first time Creed was ever knocked down in his career. He went through a grueling 15-rounder with the game Balboa, which he won by split decision. He, at first, declined a rematch.
Creed is perhaps the most important supporting character in the series, although he only appeared in the first four films. He is solely responsible for Balboa's claim to fame, and his recapturing of the the title after both his initial defeat at the hands of Clubber Lang and Mickey's death later that night, which had almost completely sapped Rocky's resolve. Creed's fatal defeat at the hands of Ivan Drago gave Rocky Balboa the opportunity to avenge his death, an act which gave Balboa his greatest win.
Rocky II Edit
In the second film, Creed's initial resistance to a rematch with Balboa softened when it became clear that the prevailing public opinion was that Creed had either gotten lucky or had carried an inferior opponent the length of the match. Eager to change minds, Creed challenged Balboa to a second fight on Thanksgiving Day, 1976.
Unlike their first fight, Creed dominated Balboa throughout the second fight. By the final round, he was well ahead on points, but did not want a repeat of the first fight, and vowed to knock Balboa out. After going toe-to-toe for much of the final round, both were knocked down by a left from Balboa. Rocky was able to get up by the count of 9, but Creed failed to make the count and lost by KO, his first professional loss. He retired with a record of 47-1 with 46 KO's. The phrase "The Italian Chicken" was originally coined by Creed in Rocky II and is now a sandwich at South Philly's Geno Steaks. It is actually a chicken cheese steak.
Rocky III Edit
In the third film, Creed took over as Balboa’s manager and trainer, following Rocky's loss to Clubber Lang and the death of Mickey. Creed helped focus Balboa on rediscovering the fire inside that he had in their fights and which he had clearly lost in the time leading up to the Lang fight. Taking Rocky Adrian and Paulie to Creed's home town of Los Angeles for training, Creed called this fire the "Eye of the Tiger". Re-energized with Creed in his corner, Balboa regained his title with a three-round knockout of Lang.
Rocky IV Edit
In Weathers's final appearance in the film series, Creed himself returns to the ring to challenge Soviet champion Ivan Drago to an exhibition fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Drago was much younger and in peak physical condition. Creed trusted his ring generalship to make quick work of Drago, but Drago destroyed Creed with 1850 psi of force and knocked him unconscious in round 2, an act which would prove to be the cause of Creed's death. Rocky later avenges this by defeating Drago in Russia.
Rocky V and Rocky Balboa Edit
Creed is briefly seen in the end credits montage of Rocky V. Also, in Rocky V, Tommy Gunn mentions Rocky's first fight with Creed, and the Apollo's Stars and Stripes trunks are passed down to Tommy. In Rocky Balboa, Creed is mentioned once in the film (when Rocky tells fight stories to customers at his restarunt). However, Creed is not seen in any form of flashback (this was due to a fall out between Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers, which was caused by Weathers wish to appear in Rocky Balboa. Stallone denied his request, as Creed's character was killed off in Rocky IV, and as a result, Weathers refused the right to use his image in the film.)
Resurrection and Cyborg ImposterEdit
- "You thought you killed me?"
- ―Apollo Creed[src]
Apollo Creed in Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer states he came back to life. However, Ivan Drago defeats him again, causing Creed to explode. Rocky Balboa appears, explaining that the imposter was his own Apollo cyborg.
It is possible that Apollo Creed actually did resurrect, inexplicably appearing in Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Embassy. Creed took to the streets and fought crime, eventually confronting the cyborg of himself in Mighty Mick's Gym. He then faced his old rival, Rocky Balboa, who fought from a wheelchair.
Because the original film was released in 1976 during the reign of Muhammad Ali, it is reasonable to assume that, with Ali being considered the quintessential boxer by having defeated some of the best of the time, Creed was based largely on him, although his public image is more in the vein of Sugar Ray Leonard or Joe Louis.
Like Ali, Apollo was an outside fighter, relying on his speed and power to get through fights. His jab-cross-hook combination were his mainstay, and also just like Ali, Creed's defense was heavily contingent upon his speed. Apollo used Ali's "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" philosophy, being able to bob and weave and frustrate his opponents. A notable difference was that though Creed had Ali's unorthodox hand positioning, he ducked, bobbed and weaved in the classic style, as opposed to Ali who preferred to move backwards, in contradiction to boxing's basic tenets, but with a delightful degree of success. Perhaps the reason for this was that only Ali could do be that unorthodox and look convinving; where most boxing instructors would tell you that you can't land a punch when you're retreating backwards, Ali did that too with alarming regularity.
But just like Ali, Creed was susceptible to taking a lot of damage during fights because of the level at which he held his hands, a fact which ultimately proved to be his undoing. By the second film, he also has the bolo punch (wind up one fist and punch with the other) in his arsenal, which seems to be a result of the punch being oft-used by then welterweight champion Sugar Ray Leonard. This punch, originated by Ceferino Garcia, a world middleweight champion hailing from Phillipines, is a variation of the feint. One of the fists is winded up in rather spectacular fashion; the catch there is that the opponent may expect a punch from this hand or, sensing a trap, from the other. Whichever hand the opponent focuses on, the aggressor here may easily throw the other. This is more of a humiliating, crowd pleasing punch. A clear example was seen in the now famous no mas bout between welterweights Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto 'Hands of Stone' Duran.
In Rocky I a reporter asked him if it was a coincidence that he was fighting a white man on the most celebrated day in our country's history; to which Apollo replied, "I don't know about that. Is it a coincidence that he's fighting a black man on the most celebrated day in our country's history?"
Wins and LossesEdit
47 Wins (46 KO) 2 Losses 0 Draws
- Rocky I (First appearance)