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A Real Life Boxer Just Did What Ivan Drago Should Have in Rocky IV

Posted on the 22 October 2015 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm

Rocky IV came out in 1985. So, um, do I still need to put a spoiler warning up here?

For the longest time, I thought there was a scene in Rocky IV where Apollo Creed’s widow confronted Rocky and demanded, “Why didn’t you throw in the towel?  My husband trusted you.  If you had done the right thing, my husband would still be alive, and my children would still have their father.”  She then slaps him, and while someone rushes to console Rocky and defends his choice the Italian Stallion mumbles something (as per usual) amounting to, “Quick, let’s cut to a 4 minute montage set to an 80s rock song!”

As far as I can tell, I completely made that up.  I must have been conflating the scene where Roy Schreider is slapped by the grieving mother in Jaws with this remarkably brief funeral scene in Rocky IV:

That funeral only happens because Rocky hesitates during the big boxing match, his decision framed as a “to throw in the towel or to not throw in the towel” proposition.  Apollo Creed puts on his little James Brown song and dance before his exhibition match with Ivan Drago, Russia’s favorite (mostly) mute monster.  Of course, Drago proceeds to murder him in the ring, and that’s not me using an expression, like how sometimes a particularly one-sided boxing match will be framed as one man murdering the other.  No, Drago literally kills Creed, delivering the kill shot right as Rocky was finally maybe thinking about throwing in the towel.

Rocky_zpsd971fe91 He wanted to stop the fight after the first round, but Creed made him promise not to because his pride meant more to him than his son growing up with a father (maybe the forthcoming movie Creed, about Apollo’s grown son, will explore that).


Please don’t die, please don’t die, please don’t die

Damn Towel

Ah, crap. You died.

It’s one of the big movie deaths of the 1980s, and due to the way it sets up the rest of the film they could have just as easily titled it Rock IV: This Time It’s Personalin Moscow!

What if the decision was taken away from Rocky?  After all, referees sometimes step in to stop matches before the losing side throws in the towel to signal their forfeit and plea for mercy.  Drago probably would have just killed the referee as well if he tired that.  However, what if Drago stopped and thought, “Apollo, my American comrade, you don’t look so good. Maybe I’ve proved my point already,” except, you know, his thoughts would be in Russian.  Then he could have turned to the ref and demanded that the fight be stopped.  Maybe that act of mercy would have somehow ended the Cold War the way Rocky’s eventual defeat of Drago in the film’s climax did.  At the very least, it’d be a lot more endearing than, “If he dies, he dies.”


You just know that Drago was extra pissed because he couldn’t get “Living in America” out of his head the whole fight

Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.  If it did, there’d be no movie.

But life isn’t a movie, and last week in New Zealand a winning boxer actually demanded that a fight be stopped early.  Here are the details from Complex.com:

Late last week, heavyweight boxer Willis Meehan took on fellow heavyweight Leamy Tato in a match at The Trusts Arena in New Zealand that probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Tato was clearly outclassed during the fight from the start and, by the end of the second round, it was pretty obvious that Tato had absolutely no business being in the same ring with Meehan. To his credit, Tato—who, strangely, goes by the nickname “Tyson”—didn’t get knocked out but, at one point, his blood was splattering everywhere and some of it even landed on the camera lens capturing the fight. Yuck.

Despite this, the match’s referee refused to stop the fight for some reason, even as Meehan landed shot after shot after shot after shot after shot on Tato. It got to be so bad that, towards the middle of the second round, Meehan turned to the ref and yelled, “Stop the fucking fight!” in his face. The ref did, but he definitely did it wayyyyy too late.

Maybe if Drago said that in Rocky IV it would have been in Russian and no one would have understood him.  Or maybe his roid rage left him with an insatiable blood lust?

Either way, way to go Willis Weehan. Way not to be Ivan Drago.

Source: Complex

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