Rocky 3 finds the champ at the top of his game, with 10 successful defences of his title behind him he’s fighting exhibitions against wrestlers, starring in TV ads and unveiling statues of himself.
Roberto Duran is one of the all time greats, a boxer that a lot of fighters look up to, and the biopic Hands of Stone captures his life in full detail.
Chuck (A.K.A. ‘The Bleeder’ in the UK and Ireland)
Sylvester Stallone was iconic in his breakthrough role as Rocky (which we previously reviewed), one of the most recognisable characters in cinema. Most people know that Stallone also wrote the film, and was struggling to make ends meet when sold the script and became a legend. But what inspired Sly to write Rocky in the first place? He says it wasn’t true, but as this biopic film about Chuck Wepner shows, The Bayonne Bleeder and The Italian Stallion have a fair bit in common.
In the brutal, blood splattered and uncompromising world of bare knuckle boxing, Lenny Mclean is a figure apart.
Having successfully survived till the final bell against Apollo Creed in the first film (which we previously reviewed) Rocky Balboa is trying to enjoy life with his family and move away from boxing, believing he has no future as a fighter.
Rocky is the boxing film. The original and many argue the greatest, it’s about a low level boxer being picked by the undefeated champ for a title shot. Everyone expects him to lose, even Rocky expects to lose. But if he can make it through to the final bell he’ll be the first person to go the distance with Apollo Creed, proving he’s not just ‘a bum from the neighbourhood’.
Aspiring boxer Maggie (Hilary Swank) seeks out top trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) to turn her into the champ she knows she can be. Reluctant to train a girl Dunn refuses, but Maggie isn’t put off. Instead, and with a little help from ex-pro Eddie ‘Scrap-Iron’ Dupris (Morgan Freeman), she wins over Frankie and becomes his star fighter. As Maggie and Frankie grow to become almost family a catastrophic incident in the ring tests just how far their relationship will push them.
Bleed for this is the biographical film depicting the life of Vinny ‘The Pazmanian Devil’ Pazienza (played by a jacked Miles Teller), a world champion boxer who was involved in a near fatal car crash that broke his neck and left doubts about whether he’d be able to walk again, despite his vows to step back in the ring.
Like with all classic films there’s eventually going to be a remake. For Kickboxer (the classic Muay Thai and Kickboxing film, which we’ve previously reviewed) this comes in the form of Kickboxer Vengeance.
In the same way that all boxers need to have seen the Rocky films (we’ll be reviewing them in the future) it’s compulsory for all kickboxers and nak muay to have seen Jean Claude Van Damme play Kurt Sloane in ‘Kickboxer’.
Warrior is a redemption story with a twist – two estranged brothers from a broken home confront their past and fight for their futures when they both enter a massive Mixed Martial Arts competition for a top prize of five million dollars.
The latest revival of a classic boxing series, Creed is a new take on the Rocky franchise and has been widely agreed to be the best Rocky film for years.
Southpaw is a classic comeback film. Billy Hope (played by an incredibly in shape Jake Gyllenhaal) is a brawler from New York who loses everything after the tragic death of his wife Maureen (portrayed by Rachel McAdams) including his daughter (Oona Laurence) who is removed from his custody by child services.
The Fighter is a 2010 biographical film about the rise of Micky Ward the well known for his trilogy of fights with Arturo Gatti – the first of which was voted by Ring Magazine as the Fight of the Year 2002 and the third was the Ring Magazine Fight of the Year 2003.