In 1976 Sylvester Stallone broke into mainstream Hollywood with his iconic film Rocky. Playing the titular character, the American actor portrayed a young, down and out boxer who would not quit rising above all of his hardships to become a successful winner in the ring. Six years later, in 1982, Stallone took on the might of the US military as John Rambo in First Blood. The brutal and bloody epic showed the hardships of the greatest warrior of all time dealing with PTSD and adversity.
Over the course of the next few decades, Stallone built the reputations of these two behemoths of cinema. Rocky continued to dominate in the boxing ring against a multitude of foes, including Mr T and Dolph Lundgren. Meanwhile, Rambo continued to ramp up confirmed kills in a number of films where he fought and won against evildoers and opposing forces.
So then, it is natural for Stallone’s fans to want to see the characters go toe-to-toe. In a recent Instagram post, Stallone commented on a mock-up boxing photo between Rocky and Rambo.
He wrote: “Even I would pay to see this one.”
Stallone mused: “If it’s two men meeting in the street and going at each other with no rules I believe the outcome would be… if the fighters wore to remain upright Rocky would prevail.” (sic)
Going into more detail, he continued: “His body punches and Right Hooks Would eventually beat Rambo… If the fight goes to the ground, Rambo will prevail In a bloody brutal fight to the end.” (sic)
But, Stallone shocked his fans by then changing his mind about the winner of the fight.
Stallone wrote: “Rethinking this scenario, I believe that upon initial contact, since they will not be in the rain but fighting outside, basically a street fight, the Rocky will land the first five or six blows. If that does not incapacitate Rambo, which I don’t think he will unless he’s caught clean, Rambo’s skill set will definitely be in full display, which means incredibly vicious assaults on the eyes, the throat, every vulnerable part of the body eventually leading to being pulled to the ground and most likely mauled.”
He added: “Then again Rocky is incredibly resilient and pretty good on the ground too!!! That’s my opinion in this fictional world.”
It seems Stallone could not decide how this battle of epic proportions would end up… but he did have one last thought for the characters.
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Stallone concluded his thought experiment by saying: “Final result is neither man will ever be the same.”
At the moment, neither Rambo nor Rocky have been killed off on the big screen, and have rarely been bested. So the fight’s victor truly is anyone’s guess.
2019’s Rambo: Last Blood brought the warrior’s story to an end by having the character vow to “never stop fighting” for his loved ones.
Rocky’s story ended – to an extent – in the sixth film, Rocky Balboa.
After this, a spin-off series was spawned, Creed. This continued the legacy of the character with Rocky playing a mentor to Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis Creed (played by Michael B Jordan).
A second sequel to Creed, Creed III, is due out at the end of the year, and will continue the story of Rocky guiding Creed to the heavyweight belt.