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Ivan Drago

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

Ivan Drago 2 Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in publicity shot in Rocky IV
Ivan Drago[1]
Character information
Gender Male[1]
Born: November 3, 1961 (1961-11-03) (age 54) in Moscow, Russia
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 268 pounds (122 kg)
Reach 80 inches (203.2 cm)

Boxer, Soviet Army infantry Captain[1]

Portrayed by: Dolph Lundgren[1]
Known Opponents: Sporto McJockitch[2](Non-canonical boxer)

Stabby Jenkins[2](Non-canonical boxer)

Segway Jerkwad[2](Non-canonical boxer)

Rhinestone Cowby[2](Non-canonical boxer)

Mafioso Alfredo[2](Non-canonical boxer)

Herbert the Dinosaur[2](Non-canonical boxer)

Mickey Goldmill[2](ghost)
Apollo Creed[1]
Rocky Balboa[1](defeated by boxer)

Ivan Drago is a Russian boxer, olympist, an Infantry Captain for the Soviet Army, and was the main antagonist in Rocky IV. He was an amateur boxer and Olympic gold medalist from the Soviet Union, armed with a punch over 2,000 psi. Although he was able to easily defeat and kill Rocky Balboa's friend and later trainer, Apollo Creed, he marginally lost to Rocky Balboa.

The Soviet Union was extremely arrogant of Drago's abilities; however, Drago never really bragged about it. His wife, Ludmilla Drago, spoke for him at press conferences, with Drago simply staring at the press. He was given several names, 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.

Boxing StyleEdit

Drago's style was based on pure strength and mental resilience. He was vicious and relentless, not stopping until he finished an opponent. He was extremely determined in battle, capable of outworking any opponent. Drago was also incredibly strong, a single punch weighing over two thousand pounds, hence the expression that whatever he hits, he destroys. Ivan Drago also showed surprising agility for his size, shown how he easily avoids the attacks of Apollo Creed. However, for his size and strength, Drago wasn't as capable of enduring consistent punishment from Balboa. As well, as the fights went on, Drago became increasingly violent and aggressive, which is perhaps most easily evidenced when fighting Apollo Creed. As Creed landed several small jabs on Drago, towards the end of the round, Drago started landing severe blows to Creed, leaving him bleeding in just the first round. Proceeding in the second round, Drago pummeled Creed until eventually, a fatal blow was delivered.


Ivan Drago

Ivan Drago before boxing Rocky Balboa.

"I...cannot be defeated!"
―Ivan Drago[src]

Ivan Drago is an Olympic gold medalist[3] and an amateur boxing champion from the Soviet Union, who had an amateur record of 100-1-0 Wins (100 KO). He is billed at 6 ft 5 in (196 cm) and 261 pounds (118 kg, over 18 ½ stone). He wields a punch yielding over 2000 psi, whereas the average psi for a boxer is 700psi.[4] He is also an infantry Captain in the Soviet Army and as seen on his chest, is a recipient of the Hero of the Soviet Union award. Drago is carefully fitted and trained to be the consummate fighter. His heart rate and punching power are constantly measured via computers during his workouts.[5] Drago is seen receiving intramuscular injections in the movie, implied to be anabolic steroids, though the actual nature of the injected solution is never explicitly stated.[3]

Drago is married to another athlete, Ludmilla Vobet Drago who is mentioned to be a double gold medalist in swimming. She is much more articulate than Drago, who seldom talks, and always speaks on his behalf at press conferences and interviews. She dismisses allegations of Drago's steroid use, explaining her husband's freakish size and strength by saying, "he is like Popeye. He eats his spinach every day!"

Drago's Rise to Fame in RussiaEdit

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Rimsky and Koloff warming themselves.

Ivan Drago's history is clearly seen in Rocky Legends, if the player chooses the path of Drago. In the first scene, Sergei Igor Rimsky (Future Main Trainer) and Nicoil Koloff (Future Political Adviser) are seen warming themselves up, as they prepare to watch fights between soldiers from the USSR Army and decide which soldier they will train into a professional boxer. Drago is chosen to fight a man called Belek, Drago also fights in army trunks for this fight.

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Drago fighting Belek.

After beating Belek, Rimsky, Koloff and other scouts choose Drago as their prospect. Drago is then trained in Soviet Russia, and defeats every other Soviet Boxer. His Soviet trainers were convinced that he would beat any boxer in the world. They flew to America in hopes of a title fight against the World Champion Rocky Balboa, convinced Drago could defeat the American hero and take the title. This was all announced at the press conference held as soon as Drago got off the plane, this press conference was then seen on TV by professional boxer Apollo Creed.

Rocky IV Edit


Drago and Creed during the press conference for their fight.

After having watched a television broadcast about 24 year old Drago and the USSR wanting to challenge Balboa for the title, Apollo Creed, 42 years old now, came out of retirement after five years to challenge him to an exhibition match, and was promoted by Rocky Balboa. Creed and the American press heavily thought that Creed would win due to his experience, and that Drago would lose for the same reason. At a press conference, the USSR was questioned with the usage of PED's to enhance Drago's physical condition, to which they deny outright. Creed got on the bad side of the USSR, and a small melee ensued, to the chagrin of
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Drago unleashes punches onto Creed.

Drago. At the pre-fight show, Drago was already in the ring, booed upon by Americans who heavily favored Creed to win. When the fight commenced, the thought of Creed winning was pronounced when Creed landed multiple small jabs; however, they didn't seem to faze Drago. Near the latter half of the round, Drago started hitting Creed hard, and the Americans soon transferred from joy to fear, as Creed was already bleeding by the time the first round was over. Into the second round, Drago started hitting Creed sooner than the first, and started landing multiple blows to the now fatigued Creed.

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Drago being interviewed after his fight with Creed, where he says If he dies, he dies

Eventually, Drago uppercutted Creed, who fell to the floor, unresponsive. Drago was awarded the victory, and in regards to Creed being confirmed dead, Drago simply said: "If he dies... he dies."

The USSR and Drago then urge Balboa to fight Drago in a match for the title. At a press conference, Balboa set up the foundation for the fight: 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 the "Death from Above". During the same conference, the USSR started belittling Balboa, claiming that they would win for certain, due to Drago's superior physical shape, and Balboa would lose for the same reason.


Drago dead lifting.

After the conference, Drago started training with state-of-the-art equipment yet again. His punches now measured over 2000 PSI compared to the 1850 PSI before the fight with Creed. He is seen lifting extreme amounts of weight, running around a private track, among other things, whilst his personal trainers tracked everything to the last heartbeat of Drago's. He is also given PED's, contrary to what the USSR said when questioning the usage of PED's upon Drago.


Large moral of Drago.

As the fighters entered the ring, it was made clear that the USSR extremely favored Drago, and had a hatred towards Balboa, due to his American origin, and how Drago would prove to the world that Balboa was the inferior fighter. During the fight, in the first round, not much action occurs between the two. Despite Drago's decent performance in the first round, his trainers place an exceptional amount of pressure on him, expecting Drago to borderline murder Balboa. 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.


Drago punches Rocky.

However, as the rounds progressed, it started becoming more of an evenly-matched fight. However, by the fifth 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 gruesome, as the two boxers exchanged blows for the next 9 rounds. By around the seventh round, Drago knocked down Balboa again. However, in the fourteenth round, Balboa started to hold up 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 choking Nicoli Koloff.

At the end of the fourteenth round Nicoli 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.
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Rocky punching Drago and beginning to take control of the fight.

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, being nearly rendered helpless as Balboa rallied several punches against Drago, uppercutting him into a knockdown. Due to his fatigue, Drago is rendered incapable of getting up in time, and almost fell out of the ring, and is awarded the loss via knockout in the fifteenth, and final round.

Events after Rocky IVEdit

According to Rocky: The Ultimate Guide, Ivan Drago wasn't 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. Ivan Drago turned professional after the fall of the Soviet Union and accumulated an impressive 31-0 (31 KO) record while also winning a portion of the Heavyweight title. He never unified the title or fought the very top contenders (as a pro) because of promotional politics. It is possible that Drago defeated Tommy Gunn for the Heavyweight Championship (timewise, Tommy was the Champion as of 1988 and the Soviet Union fell in 1991). Drago seems to have retired the Champion. The Heavyweight title may have gone to Mason Dixon's unnamed opponent. His only defeat as a pro or an amateur fighter was at the hands of Rocky Balboa.

Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer Edit

"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 willy 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.

Personality and TraitsEdit


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 sadistic, psychopathic 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 very little 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 Nicoli Koloff. While Rimsky and Vega did most of the work, Koloff did most of the talking.[1]


"There are rumors of widespread distrubution of anabolic steroids throughout the Soviet Union. Has Drago partaken in any of these?"
―An American interviewer to Ludmilla Drago[src]

Rocky Wiki has a collection of quotes related to Ivan Drago

Drago received an injection of anabolic steroids during a training scene.(He is not human, he is a piece of iron) The steroids were also featured in the online game Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer. Although noncanon, Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer identifies the steroids as Vodka and other famous drugs and steroids. Please note this is noncanon.[2]

Behind the scenesEdit

Ivan Drago T-shirt

The T-shirt featuring Ivan Drago, the line, and the symbol of the Soviet Union.

  • Drago's line, I must break you, has become so popular among fans that they have created a T-shirt featuring Drago and the line below it.
  • Drago was fighting for the Soviet Union, but later, he reveals he is fighting for himself.
  • 2,000 psi is more powerful than the discharge of a shotgun at close range.
  • Unlike Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, and Mason Dixon, Drago is the only major on-screen opponent who never defeated Rocky in the ring.
  • Despite Rocky IV's perception of Drago's size and his considerable height over Apollo Creed. Actor's Dolph Lundgren and Carl Weathers share only a two inch difference in height in reality. Lungdren stands at 6'4", while Weathers stands at 6'2". Scenes with the actors together were shot either at an angle or occasionally with Lundgren standing on an apple box.


Rocky: LegendsEdit

Ivan Drago's history is clearly seen in Rocky Legends if the player chooses the path of Drago. In the first scene, his (not yet) main trainer and the political adviser (more like scouts) are seen warming themselves up, likely to pick a boxer out of upcoming soldiers from the USSR Army. Drago is chosen to fight a man called Belek, and Drago is seen fighting in army trunks. Beating Belek, the scouts become his trainers, showing him his training quarter. Then Drago fights his way through many fighters, thus reaching Rocky Balboa.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Rocky IV
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer

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