- What is up with Rocky's fighting style? He spends most of his fight against Apollo just getting punched in the face. A good chunk of the time, it doesn't look like he's even trying to avoid or block it.
- Dramatic tension. It's the same reason Hulk Hogan always gets beat up before he makes the big comeback, and the evil sports team is always up on the scoreboard in the early part of the game.
- Because heavily based on Chuck Wepner, who pretty much did use that tactic on Muhammad Ali.
- Not even that, there are guys who have found infinitely more success than Wepner ever did fighting like that and blocking punches with their faces.
- As Drago himself says, Rocky is Made of Iron. He has such a strong chin, that he's able to keep his hands in a power punching position rather than up for defense and jabs.
- He pretty much has the same style of famous Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez who would go on to take horrible punishment only to land a hit or two of his own (which were beyond devastating), and he was EXTREMELY successful. Just watch his fight against Meldrick Taylor and you'll see the end results of trying to face someone head-on with that style.
- The idea in the original film was that Rocky was a washed-up palooka, who could barely even box and wouldn't stand a chance against Apollo. In fact, he readily admits to Adrian that he can't beat Apollo - his goal is to do exactly what he did, last the entire fight without getting knocked out. His only real strengths in the first film are his superhuman will and ability to absorb punishment. The fight in the original film isn't that close - Rocky is barely hanging on by a thread at the final bell. In the second film's intro, this fight was re-edited to make it look much closer, so that it would be feasible for Rocky to actually beat Apollo, which he did in the climax of Rocky II. In the third film, it's revealed that Micky has since been hand-picking opponents that he knows Rocky can beat with his limited abilities: when he steps out of this comfort zone and fights Clubber Lang, he gets utterly destroyed. After training from Apollo in the same film, Rocky learns some fancy footwork etc., and beats Lang in their rematch via the innovative gambit of actually getting out of the way of some of his punches. This doesn't really seem to stick though: In Rocky IV, he's right back to getting punched in the face for most of the match and the only reason he doesn't lose is...Well, because he's Rocky. And Drago is the Big Bad. His fighting style remains pretty much the same in Rocky V and Rocky Balboa, except in Rocky Balboa, he's so far down the Dented Iron path that all his training is based around strength work, no speed work at all.
- During his rematch against Clubber Lang an announcer said that this was to be Rocky's last fight, regardless of the outcome. Then at the start of Rocky V he gets challenged for the Heavyweight Belt by Union Cane. Wasn't he retired by then, or did he just change his mind after the Clubber Lang rematch? When he did retire, who did his belt go to?
- Way I remember it was that Rocky retired after fighting Clubber and his belt went to whoever was the #1 contender, un-retired to fight Drago, and retired again. Then a few years later, Cane is the champ, but everyone criticizes him for not really fighting anyone good, so he gets pissed and challenges Rocky. Rocky couldn't do it, so he trains Tommy Gunn who fights him and wins, than Tommy becomes a dick, so Rocky beats his ass in a street fight.
- I may be wrong, but the way I understood it, Rocky was still the champion as of the beginning of Rocky IV, though leaning heavily towards retirement. After Apollo's death, he accepts Drago's challenge to a match in Russia. This, however, is an unsanctioned exhibition match, and because Rocky chooses to compete in a bout unsanctioned by whichever promotion he is champion of (the promotion Rocky competes in is never mentioned on screen, though his championship belt, with the red, white, and blue cloth strap, is reminiscent of The Ring magazine's sponsored title belt), he is stripped of his title. Another possibility is that Rocky's boxing promotion chose to crown an interim champion in Union Cane, with the idea that he and Rocky would fight to unify the now-split heavyweight championship. However, when Rocky retires, plans for a big money title fight are flushed away and Cane becomes the sole heavyweight champion pretty much by default.
- Pretty sure that's exactly how it happened. I'm fairly sure Rocky III was supposed to be the last film, since there wasn't much else for Rocky to actually do by that point, so they put in his retirement to give the match extra gravitas. However, once they saw a chance to have Balboa single-handedly end the Cold War!!!, they wrote Rocky IV and just retconned the retirement out of existence, much like his "career-ending" brain injury was ignored in later films.
- It could have been a reference to the Rumble in the Jungle (which was the primary inspiration for Rocky III), which featured speculation that it would be Ali's last fight. Of course, that didn't pan out and neither did Rocky's retirement
- Whats with the timeline? Rocky is mostly set in 1975, with the fight taking place on New Year's Day 1976. Rocky II is set throughout 1976 with the fight on Thanksgiving. Rocky III is said in dialog to take place three years after II but Mickey's grave says it's 1981, a five year gap Rocky II. Rocky IV appears to start directly after III, with Rocky driving home from his sparring match with Apollo. But Adrian says Apollo had been retired for five years, which either backs up the date on Mickey's grave or means the movie is two years after III. Things are confused further when Rocky's license plate says it's 1985. Then immediately after IV Rocky V starts and Robert is suddenly a teenager, even though he could only be five years old maximum.
- It's not explicitly stated that Rocky IV takes place right after Rocky III. It could take place several years later and Rocky could have been coming home from something else at the beginning.
Headscratchers / Rocky