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"Prediction? I predict... Pain."
- Clubber Lang in Rocky III
James "Clubber" Lang is a heavyweight boxer from Chicago, and acts as the main antagonist in Rocky III. He was a boxer that was previously undefeated and became the world's top contender to Balboa. He challenged Rocky Balboa to a boxing match and knocked out Rocky in the second round. However, during the rematch between the two at Madison Square Garden, Rocky defeated Lang via knockout, stripping Lang of the title, and handing Lang his first loss. Lang is not featured in any other Rocky Movies. He is portrayed by Mr. T, who never played the role of an antagonist in his career.
"You got your chance, now give me mine!"
- Clubber Lang in Rocky III
During Rocky III's intro, Rocky defends his title in 10 consecutive title defense matches. In this montage, Lang is displayed as being annoyed at the relative ease with which Rocky wins the bouts. Later, he is seen training himself and brutally thrashing other boxers until he becomes the number one contender, running up an awesome record of 56-0, all by KO, working himself up to the tile of being the #1 contender to Balboa. At the end of the montage, Lang is shown yelling at Rocky's trainer Mickey, goading him to set up a fight between Rocky and himself, shouting "I want Balboa!" He was also watching the exhibition charity match between Rocky and Thunderlips.
Lang crashes a ceremony in Philadelphia dedicating a statue to Rocky and challenges the champ. He is disrespectful to Rocky's wife, Adrian, prompting Rocky to lose his temper and accept the challenge, despite Mickey's protests.
Lang then commences his training for the bout. He works out with minimal equipment and trainers, allowing him to put his full concentration into his training, unlike Balboa, who works out with a myriad of equipment and a large crowd, who consistently interrupt Balboa's training.
Before the fight, Lang started a melee, and hit Mickey in the process, causing the latter to fall into a heart attack, and later die. Apollo Creed, guest commentating, announced the rules to the two fighters, and Lang's mannerisms allowed Creed to develop a detest for Lang, and warmly inspires Rocky to win the bout. During the fight, Lang easily overpowered Rocky in the second round, and knocked him down. Balboa, unable to get up, is stripped of the Heavyweight title, and is awarded the loss via knockout, giving the title to Clubber Lang.
Lang angrily reached out to Balboa on television while Rocky was training with Apollo Creed in Los Angeles, and asks Rocky for a rematch. Rocky accepts, and a rematch is scheduled at the Madison Square Garden. In an interview within his locker room, Lang dissed Rocky, and as a prediction for the fight, he simply states, "Prediction? I predict... Pain." As Lang walked into the ring, he was consistently booed by the audience, and was even personally confronted by a heckler, who Lang furiously shoved out of the way.
During the bout, Lang barely punched Balboa in the first round, as Balboa delivered a flurry of jabs. However, these didn't seem to deter Lang too much physically, but his temper built, and in the second round, the round started off tame, but Lang furiously attacked Balboa, shoving him into the corner several times, and brutally punching him several times. Lang dominated Balboa in the second round, knocking him down twice, much to the pleasure of his trainer, and much to the chagrin of Creed. In the third round, Balboa started to block Lang's extremely powerful blows, and even started to taunt him, prompting Lang's temper to build, and prompting Lang to throw even more punches. However, due to Rocky's blocking techniques, and that Lang's extremely powerful punches didn't seem to deter Rocky too seriously, Lang fatigued severely, being near incapable of landing his blows onto Rocky, and even if he did, they were nowhere near as powerful as his punches compared to the rounds prior. Balboa dominated Lang and knocked him down. Fatigued still, Lang was rendered incapable of getting up before the count, and was given his first loss via knockout, stripped of the title, and the title was given back to Rocky Balboa. Lang is not seen again in future Rocky movies, probably due to his public appearance and reputation being tainted beyond repair as a result of the failed title defense.
Little more is known about this character. Before Rocky´s first fight against him, he is introduced as being from Chicago, (his nickname is "The Southside Slugger"). But according to his bio in Rocky: The Ultimate Guide, James Lang was orphaned at an early age, and spent most of his childhood in the streets of Chicago, orphanages and juvenile facilities. Later as an adult, Lang was placed in prison for five years for a low crime, but during his time being served, he discovered boxing as a way to let out his frustrations, which leads to the events of Rocky III. The Internet Movie Database does not provide a name for his manager, though one novelization of the film called him "Donut."
Clubber Lang, the hard-hitting brawler, has a character which is much like his boxing style: direct, aggressive and brutal. His fighting style and record show a similarity to a young George Foreman and perhaps (though he was still a few years away), even Mike Tyson. His quest for respect from Boxing and the media is similar to Larry Holmes. Also, he is mentioned by a reporter that he is a southpaw like Rocky. However, there is a weakness in this fighting style, as Lang relied entirely on knockout punches, and never relied on combos. This allows him to fatigue severely if he doesn't make quick work of his opponents, which Balboa exploited in their rematch, knocking out Lang fairly early, in just the third round.
Personality and TraitsEditClubber Lang was very belligerent and had a vicious temper. He argues several times in the movie and loves to crash parties and ruin people's celebrations, as he did when the citizens of Philadelphia put up a statue of Rocky Balboa. While his fighting style suggests he is supposed to be like George Foreman, his personality and quest for respect after a champion of grace like Apollo Creed and Rocky is similar to how Larry Holmes dealt with the press when he became champion after Muhammad Ali. He is shown to be a sore loser when he was defeated by Rocky, he was upset and crying.
- Clubber Lang was the only villainous role that Mr. T has ever played in his career.
- Most of Mr. T's famous quotes have came from this character, such as "I pity the fool."
- Mr. T. was reportedly considered for a cameo appearance in Rocky Balboa where he would have reprised his role as Clubber Lang. Now an older and wiser man, he was to have appeared as one of the ringside commentators.
- Rocky III (First appearance)
Rocky Balboa- Before the fight
Wins and LossesEdit