Rocky Hangs ‘Em Up: Stallone Says He’s Done Playing Balboa

The most celebrated fictitious boxer of all-time, ‘Rocky Balboa’ has featured in eight movies, three of them great, and he enthralled millions of cinema-goers by battling the biggest, baddest and best heavyweights in the world for over three decades. But ‘Rocky’ is done, he is hanging up the gloves. Sylvester Stallone put out a message on social media (picked up by Today) in which he confirmed how his most famous creation has answered the bell for the very last time.

“It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character,” the movie legend wrote. “Though it breaks my heart, sadly all things must pass …. and end. I love you kind and generous people, and the most wonderful thing of all, is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you…..”

Say what you might about the eight films – ‘Rocky,’ ‘Rocky II,’ ‘Rocky III,’ ‘Rocky IV,’ ‘Rocky V,’ ‘Rocky Balboa,’ ‘Creed’ and ‘Creed II’ – but everyone who has seen these films has to agree how enjoyable, how moving, how uplifting they have each been. Not all of the films hit the KO sweet spot (Rocky V was the biggest misfire of the series) but when it does work, as it really does in three of the original episodes and in the two spin-offs, it’s genuine movie/boxing magic.

Rocky goes out on a high, the new, ‘Creed II’ currently getting good reviews and pulling in a fortune at the box-office, but how the ‘ham and egger’ who first appeared back in the tail-end of 1976 will be missed.

Rating The Original Rocky films in order of greatness. In reverse order:

6: ‘Rocky V.’

Stallone took it to the streets in the 1990 film, literally. And it just didn’t work. The late Tommy Morrison gives it his best shot, but he is no actor. The sole “turkey” of the series.

5: ‘Rocky IV.’

Fast, flashy and way over the top. This USA Vs. Russia saga is great fun, just don’t take it seriously (as if you could).

4: ‘Rocky III.’

Stallone, accused by some of having a monster ego, put it aside to allow his co-star, the awesome Mr. T, to steal the flick. Hi-octane cinema at its very best.

3: ‘Rocky Balboa.’

Sly really took a gamble in bringing his hero back to the screen some 16 years after the near-disaster of ‘Rocky V,’ but it paid off. Bringing back the magic of the original and it’s excellent sequel, ‘Rocky Balboa’ also brought in a whole new generation of fans.

2: ‘Rocky II.’

A sequel that just had to be made. Almost as good as the original, this is a sequel that in no way tarnishes the original. And of course, Rocky wins the world title in truly epic fashion.

1: ‘Rocky.’

A masterpiece. More than just a boxing film, ‘Rocky’ is a love story, and an epic take of the underdog making good. All these years later, and ‘Rocky’ has lost none of its power.