OriginLos Angeles, CA, USA
The legendary Apollo Creed was a former heavyweight champion who possessed tremendous charisma and boxing skill. Creed dominated the heavyweight division for many years until he met a tough journeyman named Rocky Balboa.
Creed vs Balboa
A planned Bicentennial fight against number one contender Mac Lee Green was scheduled for January 1, 1976, which Apollo gladly hyped. However, Green hurt his left hand in training, and when none of the other top ranked contenders, such as Joe Czak and Buddy Shaw, step up to face the champion, Creed responded with a promotion that would generate huge publicity. He offered an unknown journeyman (Balboa) an opportunity to battle him for the his coveted heavyweight title.
Creed treated the fight as more of a show than an actual fight until Rocky knocked him down, the first time Creed was ever knocked down in his career. He went through a grueling 15-rounder with the game Balboa, which he won by split decision. He, at first, declined a rematch.
Creed vs Balboa II
Apollo's initial resistance to a rematch with Balboa softened when it became clear that the prevailing public opinion was that Creed had either gotten lucky or had carried an inferior opponent the length of the match. Eager to change minds, Creed challenged Balboa to a second fight on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. Unlike their first fight, Creed dominated Balboa throughout the second fight. By the final round, he was well ahead on points, but did not want a repeat of the first fight, and vowed to knock Balboa out. After going toe-to-toe for much of the final round, both were knocked down by a left from Balboa. Rocky was able to get up by the count of 9, but Creed failed to make the count and lost by KO, his first professional loss. He retired with a record of 47-1 with 46 KO's.
Creed took over as Balboa's manager and trainer, following Rocky's loss to Clubber Lang and the death of Mickey. Creed helped focus Balboa on rediscovering the fire inside that he had in their fights and which he had clearly lost in the time leading up to the Lang fight. Re-energized with Creed in his corner, Balboa regained his title with a three-round knockout of Lang.
After years in retirement, Creed returns to the ring to challenge Soviet champion Ivan Drago to an exhibition fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Drago was much younger and in peak physical condition. Creed trusted his ring generalship to make quick work of Drago, but Drago destroyed Creed with 1850 psi of force and knocked him unconscious in round 2, an act which would prove to be the cause of Creed's death.
Rocky later avenges Creed's death by defeating Drago in Russia.
Rocky Balboa is often wrongly credited with popularizing the red, white, and blue trunks; Creed was the first man to wear them.
Creed had more nicknames than any other fighter in history
In the song "We Riders" featuring Mac from Master P's 1997 album "Ghetto D" Mac refers to Apollo Creed in the last verse: "Laying n****s down like Apollo Creed if need."
For comic relief, Muhammad Ali once told Sylvester Stallone "I'm the REAL Apollo Creed!" at the Oscars.
He is referred to in the lyrics of Jude's "She Gets the Feeling" from his 1998 release, No One is Really Beautiful: "Everybody's got to play a final card a way to go do the deed / Throw the punches like Apollo Creed"
When the Democratic debate which took place in Philadelphia in October 2007 was held, Barack Obama said that this debate was the most anticipated thing since the fight between Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa.
"Athletes sweat and smell.. Be a thinker, not a stinker."
"You fight great, but I'm a great fighter."
"You get that heavy bag with eyeballs in the ring and your going to know the meaning of pain!"