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Top 6 Rocky Balboa Opponents

Updated on February 21, 2013

Who is the Greatest Rocky Balboa Movie Villain of All Time?

You don't have to be a boxing fan to love the Rocky Balboa movies. Although Rocky is a boxer, the story is truly about never giving up, about facing your fears and about giving it everything you've got regardless of the outcome.

Rocky has faced some mean opponents in the ring including the likes of Carl Weathers (Apollo Creed), Dolph Lundgren (Ivan Drago), Antonio Tarver (Mason Dixon), Tommy Morrison (Tommy Gunn), Hulk Hogan (Thunderlips), and the unforgettable Mr. T (Clubber Lang). Although Rocky's true opponent lies inside, this article will finally put to rest the debate about who rates as the best all time Rocky Balboa opponent.

Ladies and gentlemen...let's get ready to rumble!

Yo Adrian! - Rocky IV, Rocky 4, Rocky Four

Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV
Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV
Tommy Morrison in Rocky V
Tommy Morrison in Rocky V

Number 6 (Last Place) -- Tommy Gunn

Played by real-life boxer Tommy "The Duke" Morrison

It's a good thing Stallone allowed this character to use the actor's actual first name because there's a good chance he wouldn't have remembered it otherwise. Tommy Morrison as a boxer was thrilling to watch, especially as a native of Kansas City. Tommy Morrison as an actor was...well, embarrassing. (Please don't hit me, sir.)

Acting chops aside, Tommy was the least intimidating (and interesting) of the villains. Toward the end of the movie (by far the worst in the series), Tommy Gunn confronts Rocky outside the ring and they get into an 80's style street fight. With a crowd of stereotypical hood rats surrounding them, I wasn't sure if they were going to box or breakdance. Or both.

Sorry Tommy Gunn. You suck the hardest. (That's what she said.)

Rocky vs Tommy Gunn - Rocky vs Tommy Gunn YouTube video

Rocky Balboa Merchandise - Rocky DVDs, Rocky soundtracks, Tommy Morrison signed photographs

Rocky Balboa vs Mason Dixon
Rocky Balboa vs Mason Dixon

Number 5 -- Mason Dixon

Portrayed by real-life boxer Antonio "The Magic Man" Tarver

Mason Dixon was too vanilla for my tastes. I understand where Stallone was trying to go with the movie, so to an extent the character's persona made sense. But in terms of sheer "tie up damsels in distress on the railroad tracks" villainy, Dixon was sorta bland. Less of a villain and more of a slightly agitated guy whose mood might improve later on with an ice cream cone.

Corny name aside, Mason Dixon sucked but sucked less hard than Tommy Gunn. So I guess we're dealing with degrees of suck here. I probably better stop now so I can maintain this "G" rating...

Rocky vs Mason Dixon - Rocky vs Mason Dixon YouTube video

Rocky Balboa Merchandise - Rocky on blu-ray, Rocky Balboa robe, Antonio Tarver signed photo

Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips in Rocky III
Hulk Hogan as Thunderlips in Rocky III

Number 4 -- Thunderlips

As depicted by real-life professional wrestler Hulk Hogan

Over 6 feet tall. 12 inch pythons. Long blond hair (minus a big whopping bald spot). That's right, "The Ultimate Man", Thunderlips, is coming to town and he's got a present for the "Ultimate Meatball." Namely, that gift consists of Thunderlips picking up Rocky like he's giving a little kid a piggy back ride and dealing him a full-on dose of emasculation.

In this boxing versus wrestling charity match, Rocky and Thunderlips were set to spar and put on a little show for the crowd. Little did Balboa know that Thunderlips was experiencing some serious 'roid rage that fateful day.

Rocky takes a few easy shots at Thunderlips' stomach. Thunderlips chases Rocky around the ring like the infamous chicken scene, causing Rocky to feel like a Kentucky Fried Idiot. Thunderlips forcefully throws Rocky from the ring. Balboa makes his way back in and climbs up Thunderlips' back, putting him in a choke hold. It's like watching the neighborhood chihuahua try to mount that Great Dane down the road.

Suddenly Thunderlips forgives all and the two opponents fist pound, slap the ring girls, and agree to meet for beer later.

That part didn't make the final cut.

Rocky vs Thunderlips - Rocky vs Hulk Hogan YouTube video

Rocky Balboa on eBay - Thunderlips figure, Rocky figure, Stallone and Hogan signed photo

Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone
Carl Weathers and Sylvester Stallone

Number 3 -- Apollo Creed

This time Rocky faces a former professional football player in Carl Weathers.

See, first Apollo hated Rocky in Rocky I. Then he hated him again in Rocky II. Then Apollo and Rocky became all BFF and joined forces to take on Clubber Lang in Rocky III. Apollo tried to do his own thing in Rocky IV against Ivan Drago and got himself killed. It just goes to show you...well, I'm honestly not sure what that proves. Sucks to be him though, all dead and stuff.

Apollo was a tough opponent. He was smooth in the ring, very quick and stylish. He had flash and pizzaz and made the Stallion look slow. But what Rocky lacked in grace, he made up for in heart. And that's why you got your a$$ handed to you, Apollo!

I'm not gonna lie. I cried when Apollo died. Don't tell anybody.

Rocky vs Apollo Creed - Rocky vs Apollo Creed YouTube video

Ivan Drago as portrayed by actor Dolph Lundgren
Ivan Drago as portrayed by actor Dolph Lundgren

Number 2 -- Ivan Drago

Four stoic words: "I must break you."

Ivan Drago was one intimidating dude. He was like 8 ft. 14 something and was popping steroids the way a retarded kid pops his balloon. I mean, he killed Apollo Creed (oops, spoiler!) by punching his face almost off.

And then the giant spoke in that robotic Russian monotone. "I must break you."

When I watched Rocky take blows from that big freak of nature, I'm pretty sure a little pee trickled down my leg. Drago made me want to fly to Russia and bomb the place, straight up nuclear style. Man I hated that guy. Jerk.

Rocky vs Ivan Drago - Rocky vs Ivan Drago YouTube video

Rocky Balboa Songs - Download Rocky mp3s here

Click to listen to such hits as "Eye of the Tiger" and "Gonna Fly Now," the main theme from Rocky.

Mr. T and Sylvester Stallone
Mr. T and Sylvester Stallone

Number 1 -- Clubber Lang

Bodyguard to the stars turned (pretend) boxer, Mr. T

Man, what can you even say about how BA Mr. T is? Dude is plain mean. He oozes testosterone. He can just look at you and make you instinctively walk the other way.

Clubber Lang's training montage from Rocky III is brutal. Rocky, having maintained the heavyweight title for quite some time now has become complacent. He is soft. Clubber, on the other hand, is hungry and Italian food is the only thing on the menu. While Rocky trains in a nice upscale gym, you see Clubber putting in work in some dank, dingy makeshift weightroom. It looks like there is poor ventilation, which is not a good thing given the amount of sweat pouring from the guy. And then Lang begins doing chin ups on some old rusty pipes hanging from the ceiling. Pimp juice!

Before the movie is over, Clubber kills Mick (Rocky's trainer) and verbally rapes Rocky's wife. He beats Rock within an inch of his life and I'm pretty sure he farted in Rocky's corner too. Clubber Lang easily pulls in the number one spot as the most vile, mean, badass Rocky villain of all time!

Rocky vs Clubber Lang - Rocky vs Mr. T YouTube video

Rocky Balboa Wallpaper - Rocky Balboa Quote "It Ain't About How Hard You Can Hit"

Rocky Balboa Quote
Rocky Balboa Quote

Rocky Balboa movie villain poll - Who is the best Rocky villain?

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Vote here. Yo, Adrian!

Who ranks as the best Rocky Balboa villain?

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Who is the best Rocky Balboa movie opponent? - Rocky vs, Rocky versus, Rocky Balboa vs

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      loool, all who say's clubber is number 1 is just cuz you are fans of Mr.T :D No way he couldve beat even apollo. Rocky didnt want to fight anymore even before he fought lang. Ivan Drago 1st second Apollo :)

    • Eric Mayo profile image

      Eric Mayo 4 years ago

      I'm sorry, I don't see Rocky even wanting to fight again after the azz-whooping he took from Clubber Lang. But again the movie was "Rocky" and not "Clubber."

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is all wrong. Drago is no.1 and Lang cant go 4 rounds with anyone. Apollo No 2

    • Mikewrites LM profile image

      Mikewrites LM 5 years ago

      I'd say Ivan Drago, but its a close one between him and clubber lang great to see thunderlips made the list though lol! Very cool lens

    • espio007 profile image

      espio007 5 years ago

      Great lens I'm a fan of the Rocky films. I agree with your list 100% Tommy Gunn sucked (that was the worst film for me) and Clubber is the best Rocky 3 also brought us the legendary song "Eye of the Tiger" during the training as well

    • profile image

      RedRocker 5 years ago

      Apollo for me. I only like the first 2 movies, so Apollo is my #1 villain. His boxing style is awesome!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Clubber Lang then in a very close second Ivan Drago

    • MinaMirage profile image

      MinaMirage 5 years ago

      Clubber Lang is definitely the scariest!

    • chuckholmes301 profile image

      chuckholmes301 5 years ago

      I luck Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago. Rocky movies are so awesome!

    • shanktoofs123 profile image

      shanktoofs123 5 years ago

      I have to respectfully disagree as Ivan Drago is the best Rocky Villian EVER.... "I MUST BREAK YOU"... "If he dies... he dies". HAHAH I crack up to this day at him. Your list otherwise is awesome I would just switch clubber lang with Ivan.

      Representing Philly .. go rockooo

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow man honestly you have got it all wrong. 6 thumderlips , 5Ivan drago, 4 mason Dixon, 3 clubber long, 2 Apollo cread and Tommy Gunn. Tommy Morrison was awesome acter. And the best boxer. Clubber lang was k but you can hardly put thunder lips above tommy or Dixon

    • WayneDave LM profile image

      WayneDave LM 5 years ago

      Definitely Ivan. I'm not a fan of Rocky 4, but he's certainly the most evil, vile villain in the series.

    • sean1980 profile image

      sean1980 6 years ago

      It has to be Ivan Drago. I'm biased though because Rocky 4 is my favorite of all the Rocky movies.

    • Eklectik1 profile image

      Eklectik1 6 years ago

      I think the first two are the best and then the last--in that order are my favoites--and now my son loves them too!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      That had to be a Hard choice to make, Clubber or Drago?!? Both were just as intimidating and powerful, Rocky 4 is my favorite because of the situation with Drago! But Rocky 3 is a Very Close Second, after watching it I sometimes want to work the Punching Bag!!

    • italianizeyours profile image

      italianizeyours 6 years ago

      Ivan Drago was a great villain, but I gotta go with Clubber Lang. Mr. T was great in it.