I'll be straight with you: I don't know much about what's going on in boxing now and I'm not the only one. I don't feel bad about my lack of knowledge as it pertains to boxing's current events. There are no big names for people to follow. There are more title belts than in the WWE. And all of the big fights are on PPV or HBO, making it tough for people to start following boxing. Of course, you can read about the results in the paper the next day. But boxing isn't about the final result, it's about the amount of pain dished out before the final result.
So my knowledge of boxing is slim. However, my knowledge of movies Rocky to Rocky IV is immense. Recently, the world of Rocky and the world of boxing crossed paths, and I've taken notice. Both are showcasing the elderly.
Most people know about Rocky VI (named Rocky Balboa) which is coming out this Christmas. Sylvester Stallone is reprising the role that made him famous -- the perennial underdog boxer Rocky. Sly will not try to hide his age. He'll be playing an aging Rocky who is coerced back into the ring to challenge Mason "The Line" Dixon (very clever), a younger superstar played by real life boxer Antonio Tarver.
Now, how does this relate to the real world of boxing? Simple. On November 30th, former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier will be stepping into the ring. The 62 year-old will be boxing a three round charity bout against Willie Herenton, the 65 year-old mayor of Memphis.
I know this is all for charity, but come on. That's going to be the most boring fight ever. How are two people over 60 going to entertain a crowd of people? Their goal isn't going to be to win but not to give the other a stroke. I think most people would rather watch two young no-name fighters kick the living crap out of each other to try to make a name for themselves instead of watching one of the greatest fighters ever go against a man who was once director of Memphis Public Schools. I fear this'll be the first charity event where people ask for their money back.
(Herenton is too focused on Frazier to notice that fine feminina on his arm)
The question now is whether or not Rocky VI will suffer the same fate. Will movie-goers be asking for their money back after seeing the new film? Fans of the franchise were left with a bad taste in their mouth after Rocky V. Rocky V turned Rocky from a slow but loveable fighter to a complete idiot and jackass. The first four Rocky's were really all the same, but they all worked. All Sly needs to do to make this movie acceptable is follow the old pattern. He's down. He trains. He's up. Unfortunately Talia Shire, who played love interest Adrian in all the movies, is not on for this one. Rocky's relationship with Adrian gave the movies the emotional edge to make them work. Without Adrian, and with Sly being 60, only Rocky fans should see it and don't expect anything resembling the glory days. Of course, that all being said, I'll be there in the theaters.
According to imdb.com, Sly, who wrote all the movies, originally planned to kill off Rocky in the end of Rocky V, but then said it would be like "killing Superman." It takes some balls to compare the character you created to Superman.
Regardless of whether Rocky VI succeeds or not, the biggest news in boxing is not about the current title-holders and current boxing matches. Instead, it's is focused on seniors stepping into the ring. Is it any wonder that people really don't follow it?