Rocky Balboa

Rocky Balboa

    Rocky Series
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in Philadelphia. Rocky believes he’s destined to become the pride of the city. The heavyweight championship of the world is going to be fought on Jan. 1, 1976, to kick off the Bicentennial year in the nation’s cradle. To nearly everyone’s surprise, the unassuming and unheralded Rocky is going to be the challenger.

Profession… boxer, training to fight the great Apollo Creed. The champ wanted to fight a local underdog. He thought he was being sentimental; he knew the people wanted nothing more than for him to be beat down by some nobody, even though Apollo’s too good for that to actually happen. Rocky’s got the heart to beat him, but Apollo can see he fights like an ape. Rocky’s crusty trainer Mickey has a lot of work to do to even make the fight respectable.

Interests… his new media attention. Everybody in this country knows his face now, and after the fight everybody in the world is going to. The phone's been ringing off the hook and the TV shows have been getting in touch. Two weeks ago nobody gave two cents who he was.

Relationship Status… dating Adrian, which is more important to him than winning the fight. Paulie, Adrian’s brother and Rocky’s grumpy friend, used to talk her down to Rocky. He'd say, "She's a loser – She don't enjoy life – She reads – Brainy – Pushin' thirty friggin' years old!  She's gonna die alone if she don't wise up." But she's the only girl who Rocky ever really felt something special about. Whether he wins or loses, he knows she'll be on his side.

Challenge… showing the world what he’s made of – and making sure it’s worth the beating. Plus, keeping his nose unbroken. That’s a real point of pride: “After a rough fight, ya' nothin' but a large wound. Sometimes I feel like callin' a taxi to drive me from my bed to the bathroom... Ya' eyes hurt, ya' ears hurt, ya' hair even hurts...But the thing I'm proud of is I been in over sixty fights an' never had a busted nose... That's rare.”

Personality… determined, warrior-like. Rocky knows the odds are stacked against him – no one expects anything more than a flop. He may not be the most natural talent, but that just means he has to work harder than anybody else. He’s been doubted his whole life, but this fight is his chance to prove that he’s more than just some bum from the neighborhood.


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