Your Ring Side Seats Everyone knows the music to Rocky. In a couple of bars of it starting, waves of emotion sweep over you, and you know, against all the odds, maybe battered and bruised (metaphorically), you can take on the world.
It’s the film of champions too. Celebrating the launch of the entire Rocky series (6 films) out now in an new very aptly titled ’Heavyweight’ bluray boxset, former WBA heavyweight Champion David Haye was at a special cinema screening of the first chapter in Sylvester Stallone’s homage to the spirited fighting underdog ’Rocky’.
It really was amazing to see the movie (originally out in 1976 when it rightly won Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Editing) on the big screen, to the extent where in that iconic moment of Rocky Balboa, The Italian Stallion (Stallone) runs up to the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, turns around with raised arms of hope and defiance, you actually feel you are standing behind him, with him.
If you’ve not seen the movie(s) get the set and sort that out as soon as possible, it’s worth it for numbers 1 & 6 (which Stallone wrote and directed) alone. There’s a simple joy in doing your own impressions of Balboa calling out ’Adrian’ repeatedly. Even make a party of it, as they really are wonderful crowd pleasing movies too.
David Haye lovingly spoke about how he didn’t know any boxer who hasn’t been inspired by the series (his first introduction was ’Rocky III’, in particular ’Rocky’ and ’Rocky Balboa’, the later apparently being the closet to what it’s actually like when you’re contending at such heights. And also how the fictional character that Stallone had written himself, had effectively become real. The lines between Stallone and Balboa having eroded many years ago, and its basically Balboa who’s being playing Stallone in every other film, from ’Rambo’ to ’The Expendables’ (which David has cheekily offered his services to Sly for on any future misadventures in the series).
David is recovering from injury at the moment from torn arm ligaments, so there wasn’t any clear word on a return to the pugilist stage, though is keen to skip onto the Hollywood stage. But in the spirit of Rocky, you just can’t help thinking/hoping he’ll be back for another round.
Rocky™ Heavyweight Collection
Release date:10th February
Running time: 643 minutes
Includes “8mm Home Movies of Rocky” (1975) – narrated by Director John G Avildsen and Production Manager Lloyd Kaufman.