"I must break you."
―Ivan Drago to Rocky Balboa[src]

Ivan Drago (born November 3rd, 1961) is a Russian boxer, Olympian, an Infantry Captain for the Soviet Army, and was the main antagonist in Rocky IV.

Drago was an amateur boxer and Olympic gold medallist from the Soviet Union, armed with a punch over 2,000 psi. As seen in the events from Rocky Legends, Drago was first scouted by Nicolai Koloff in Russia, Koloff was tasked with finding a fighter that could be built and sent to the United States in order to become champion. At the time, the Soviet Union and the United States were at war with each other and the Soviet Union wanted to prove their superiority. Drago would fight one of America's greatest fighters Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, destroying him with ease and knocking him out in the second round, resulting in the death of Creed. Creed's close friend Rocky Balboa took it upon himself to avenge Creed and agreed to a fight against Drago in Russia, Drago lost the fight, making it his first and only loss ever.

The Soviet Union was extremely arrogant in Drago's abilities; however, Drago never bragged about it. His wife, Ludmilla Drago, spoke for him at press conferences, with Drago simply staring at the press without saying anything. He was given several nicknames, such as the Siberian Bull, the Siberian Express, and even Death from Above, referring to Drago's height and Apollo's death at the hands of Drago.

After the fall of Soviet Union, he had a son, Viktor Drago who succeeded him in his boxing career.


Early Life

Ivan Drago was born on November 3rd, 1961 in Moscow, Russia, there isn’t much information surrounding Drago’s childhood, but one would assume that he was raised with discipline, due to growing up in such a rough environment. Drago would eventually join the Soviet Army becoming an Infantry Captain, it was during this time that boxing trainer Sergei Igor Rimsky and political adviser Nicolai Koloff were scouting the soldiers in order to find a worthy athlete. Drago fought fellow soldier Alexei Baluk , defeating him and catching the eye of prospects, from here Drago was trained in Soviet Russia, and went on to defeat a series of other boxers. He had an impressive amateur record of 31 wins, 0 losses, 0 draws and 17 knockouts. The ultimate fight in the USSR is on the deck of a warship, where Drago is pitted against the best boxer in the Red Navy. After Drago wins that fight, his Soviet trainers were convinced that he would beat any boxer in the world. They flew to America in hopes of booking a title fight against the World Champion Rocky Balboa, convinced Drago could defeat the American and take the title. This was announced at the press conference held as soon as Drago got off the plane. This press conference was seen by retired professional boxer Apollo Creed.

Drago, also holds an Olympic gold medal and holds a strongest punch of over 2100 psi, his average was 1850 psi. The average psi for a heavyweight boxer is only 700 psi. 

Drago is married to another athlete, Ludmilla Vobet Drago who is a double gold medalist in swimming. She is more articulate than Drago, who seldom talks, and always spoke on his behalf at press conferences and interviews. She dismissed allegations of Drago's steroid use, explaining her husband's freakish size and strength by saying, "he is like your Popeye. He eats his spinach every day!" Following the collapse of the Soviet Union Ludmilla and Drago had a child Viktor Drago. Viktor succeed his father and pursued a career in boxing.

Rocky IV


Drago and Creed during the press conference for their fight.

After watching the broadcast of 24 year old Drago challenging Balboa to a title fight, Apollo Creed, who was 42 years old, came out of a five year retirement to challenge the Russian to an exhibition match, which was promoted by Rocky Balboa. Creed and the American press thought Creed would win due to his experience, out boxing the less experienced Drago. Creed got on the bad side of the Soviet delegation, and a small melee ensued, to the chagrin of Drago.


Drago unloading on Apollo Creed.

At the pre-fight show, Drago was booed by the American crowd who heavily favored Creed. When the fight commenced, Creed appeared to be doing well, landing multiple jabs; however, they didn't seem to faze Drago. Near the latter half of the round, Drago started hitting Creed hard, quieting the crowd and bloodying Creed. In the second round, Drago maintained his momentum, landing multiple blows to the now fatigued Creed.

Drago dropped Creed with a looping left hook that left him unresponsive on the canvas. Drago was awarded the victory, and in regards to Creed's fatal injuries, Drago said, "If he dies... he dies."

After the fight, the Soviets urged Balboa to fight Drago in a match for the title. At the press conference, the fight was set: in the USSR, on Christmas day, for no money whatsoever. Balboa made it clear to everyone that he would attempt to avenge Creed's death at the hands of Drago, now labelled "Death from Above". During the conference, the Soviets belittled Balboa, claiming that Drago would win for certain, due to Drago's superior genetics.

Rocky-IV-05-GQ-9Oct17 b

Drago lifting weights in preparation for his fight with Rocky.

After the conference, Drago recommenced training with state-of-the-art equipment. His punches measured over 2000 PSI compared to the 1850 PSI before the fight with Creed. He is seen lifting extreme amounts of weight and running around a private track, whilst his personal trainers tracked the minutiae of Drago's biology, monitoring even his heart rate. He is also given PED's, contrary the Soviets earlier denial of PED use.

As the fighters entered the ring, it was made clear that the Soviet crowed heavily favored Drago and disliked Balboa due to his nationality. In the first round of the fight, Ivan had the upper-hand. Rocky was already cut and bleeding by the end of the first round! Despite Drago's impressive performance in the first round, his trainers place an exceptional amount of pressure on him, expecting Drago to dominate Balboa more. In the second round, Drago continually lands blows on Balboa, and knocks him down, much to the chagrin of Balboa's trainers, and Adrian Balboa

As the rounds progressed, it became an evenly-matched fight. At the end of the second round, Rocky landed a blow that left the Siberian Express with a cut under his left eye, astonishing the crowd. Rocky also forced Drago into a corner, continuously punching him, even after the bell. This prompted a small melee. The fight became progressively more gruesome, as the two boxers exchanged blows for the next several rounds. In the twelfth round, Balboa started to blunt Drago's efforts to best him, and Balboa gave Drago some pressure. Then, portions of the crowd started to cheer for Balboa, for his perseverance, and challenge that he posed to Drago.


Drago and Rocky trading punches.

For the next few rounds, Balboa began to gain the upper-hand, much to the surprise of both Drago and his

cornermen. At the end of the fourteenth round, Nicolai Koloff became so furious that he personally got to Drago's corner, and started to rant at him for how his performance was weak, to the point where the Soviet's started cheering for Balboa, and how Drago needed to win, or else. Drago's temper then snaps, prompting him to grab and hold Koloff by the neck, and throw him into the audience, exclaiming "I fight for me! FOR ME!", contrarily to how Soviets suggested that Drago was fighting for his country. Drago then commences the final round with Balboa.

Similarly to Babloa's fight with James "Clubber" Lang, Balboa started taunting Drago, asking him to throw real punches, which prompted the then infuriated Drago to throw more punches, but to little avail. Much like Lang, Drago fatigued severely, rendering him helpless as Balboa rallied several punches against Drago, uppercutting him into a knockdown. Due to his fatigue, Drago was incapable of answering the count, and nearly fell out of the ring. He was awarded the loss via knockout in the fifteenth, and final round.

Events After Rocky IV

According to Rocky: The Ultimate Guide, Drago was not permitted to resume his boxing career after his loss to Rocky Balboa because of the special circumstance that he could not officially turn pro in the USSR. Drago turned professional after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and accumulated a record of 31-0 (31 KO) while also winning a portion of the Heavyweight title. He never unified the title or fought the very top contenders (as a professional) because of promotional politics.

Creed II

Ivan returns in Creed 2 as a mentor and trainer to his son Viktor Drago for the fight with Adonis Creed.

Personality and Traits


Ivan Drago, ready to box.

"I fight for me! FOR ME!"
―Ivan Drago[src]

Unlike the opponent from the previous movie, Clubber Lang, Drago is a man of few words. In the movie, his wife always spoke for him during interviews, as Drago simply looked at the cameras, whilst occasionally looking at others. He is a individual who hates being treated like an object of somebody else's intentions. He seems to be a very pitiless and cold-hearted person, as shown when he comments on Apollo's death: "If he dies, he dies", feeling no remorse for his actions. Drago also is remembered for saying "I must break you" to Rocky Balboa immediately before the match begins. Drago seems to be fighting for his country (as the Soviet officials indicate), but as one of his promoters starts yelling at him in the fourteenth round for not fulfilling expectations, Drago angrily lifted the promoter by the neck, and threw him into the crowd, exclaiming, "I fight for me! FOR ME!"[1]

His trainers included Manuel Vega and Sergei Rimsky, along with his promoter Nicolai Koloff. While Rimsky and Vega did most of the work, Koloff did most of the talking.

Boxing Style

Drago's style was based on size, strength, and mental resilience. He was vicious and relentless, not stopping until he finished an opponent. He was extremely determined in the ring, capable of outworking any opponent. Drago was also incredibly strong, a single punch impacting with the force of over two thousand pounds per square inch, hence the expression that whatever he hits, he destroys. Ivan Drago also showed surprising agility for his size, demonstrated in his elusiveness during the Apollo Creed fight. Drago tended to become more aggressive as fights went on. Drago, however, wasn't capable of enduring consistent punishment, which contributed to his loss against Rocky Balboa.

Boxing Attires


Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer

"It is time to restore order to this society!"

After the match, Drago was locked up in the Soviet Embassy for years. Gorbachev, knowing of Drago's power, released him into the streets of the United States after briefing Drago on his mission. Drago was attacked by several people. Sporto McJockitch attacked first, some of them followed by their girlfriends, who did no damage. Ivan defeated these, only to be met by Stabby Jenkins, a short man with a dagger. He killed these and moved on.[2]

Ivan Drago game

Ivan Drago fights Sporto McJockitch.

Next, he met someone unusual—Segway Jerkwad. Segway was a cyborg (presumably), he had a wheel attached where his legs and feet were supposed to be. Segway attacked immediately, but Drago was able to defeat the cyborg. Then he met another unusual sight, a cowboy. The cowboy tried really hard with his lasso to strangle him, but Drago was able to defeat him, too. [2]

Next came Pauly's Robot, another machine, that did not attack. Drago destroyed the robot as well. After that, Mafioso Alfredo, a man dressed in black with a small pistol, attacked. Drago dodged all the bullets he could and killed Alfredo.[2] . He also met Serial mom whom the criminals used to fool Drago, but to no avail, and he, in disgust, killed her and the baby was a doll filled with blood which did not fool Drago at all.

Then came Herbert the Dinosaur, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The T-Rex used all its might to kill Drago, but in the end, Drago defeated it. He then fought several more of the criminals before entering Mighty Mick's Gym. Drago fought a cyborg of Apollo Creed and eventually Rocky Balboa, who was confined to a wheelchair.[2]

Non-canon information ends here.


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