Thursday, May 16, 2024

Original Rocky Movies What If Part 2

The Mom inspired Mother's Day boxing posts continue. Not only did she point out that Rocky shouldn't lose, but she also said for the initial "Boxing What If" -
"The son shouldn't beat the father."

The initial intent was for this to be a one off "Bonus Fight" at the end of the "Rocky What If" story.

However, due to the tragic loss of Carl Weathers earlier this year, it evolved into a tribute, since I spent the night playing as his character:

Apollo Creed- The Heavyweight Champion of the World! The Master of Disaster! The Count of Monty Fisto!

He had all the speed, skills and mouth of Muhammad Ali, plus what looked like greater punching power, (because "movies... is magic" ) and no three year suspension at the height of his skills.

He also had a huge level of arrogance that turned into a major Achilles Heel. 

That means it is time to look into 
"WHAT IF...Apollo kept his ego in check and didn't underestimate his opponents?"

He will not be fighting himself, because that was seriously messed up.

Instead, the bouts begin when number one contender Mac Lee Green injures his hand, leaving Apollo to select local talent Rocky Balboa for a once in a lifetime shot. However, in this world, Apollo pays attention to the video footage showing the Italian Stallion's bone breaking punches and his Eye of the Tiger endurance. An additional deviation, in this world, the Spectrum feels ticket sales will drop significantly with an unknown challenger and they're forced to find another venue at the Garden in New York City. 
(I'm working with the game's limitations here, people.)
I figured this one was an acceptable loss for Rocky, because he did lose his first fight with Apollo... 
just not this badly. 
Similar to the film, Creed floors Balboa early, knocking him down twice in the second round. 
The more self aware Apollo keeps his presence of mind, and his guard up, preventing Rocky's sledgehammer like hooks from damaging the champion after the Stallion is surprisingly able to rise. Creed uses his skills and speed to keep Balboa off of him and continues peppering the challenger with multiple blows. Rocky is, ironically, brought down for good by a body punch in the fourth.

Without his fantastic showing in the first fight there truly "ain't gonna be no rematch" for Rocky Balboa. Therefore it is a still undamaged Apollo Creed holding the title belt when the young, dangerous and uncontrolled Clubber Lang appears on the scene demanding his title shot.
Duke keeps Creed in top shape as he prepares to meet the lethal (if wild) hooks of Lang yet again in his home town of Chicago.
Lang doesn't stand a chance, hurling power shots more than half the time, but also missing more than half the time. 
Apollo's steady stream of straight shots to the head come in so quickly and continually they don't only need to capitalize on Lang's misses to do damage. As Clubber repeatedly winds himself, the blows bring him down once in each of the two quick rounds of their battle. 

The Apollo Creed who receives the challenge from Soviet Russia's champion is younger, healthier and far less battered than the one who received the deadly blows in the film. He's also wise enough not to take the monstrously large fighter's inexperience for granted. The Master of Disaster approaches this fight in Las Vegas's spectacular MGM Grand knowing the damage Drago is capable of dishing out, and has planned his game accordingly.
Remembering the debilitating body punches Balboa surprised him with earlier in his career, Creed passes on his usual headhunting ways to mount a sustained attack on the mid section of the Siberian Express. 
Fighting mostly a defensive bout at first, after four rounds Apollo takes charge with his speed and accuracy. Ivan goes down once in the eighth. The Count of Monte Fisto turns up the heat in the ninth, toppling the the big Russian twice more, ending the fight and eliminating the darkness surrounding the Movieverse version.

In any universe, the grueling bout against Ivan Drago requires some rest. With Rocky out of the championship picture, it is Apollo who takes up training the newcomer Tommy "The Machine" Gunn. Tommy is a dope in any universe, and always gets in with the wrong crowd. As usual, Gunn ends up picking a fight with his mentor out in the street, which still looks suspiciously like Mexico City.
Apollo lays a lesson on Tommy he'll likely never forget (barring the likely brain damage) dropping him immediately. 
Gunn almost never gains his balance as Creed's staccato bursts of jabs and crosses keep him back pedaling until he falls. 
Tommy was known for his left hook, but The Count of Monte Fisto schools him in how to throw power punches, finishing the fight in that same round with a barrage of hooks and uppercuts.

This version of Apollo kept his body in tune with the help of Duke and Little Duke. When Mason "The Line" Dixon comes on the scene, Creed is able to get back into fighting form most efficiently. 
Dixon lasts into the eighth round of another match in Vegas. It's a good thing Dixon did have endurance, as his defensive dodging and slipping based style was no match for the speed and power of Apollo Creed. 
"The Line" fell in the sixth, but did hold it together after that. Still, Apollo's straight punches buffeted him all around the ring, and high speed combinations of hooks and uppercuts dropped Dixon twice in the eighth and final round to end things.

In a much happier world than the movies, Apollo Creed lives to get to know his son Adonis. And when Donny decides to enter the ring himself, it's his own father who trains him and passes on wisdom.
They spar their gym in Los Angeles, and Apollo continuously reminds his son to protect his noggin better. 
After five rounds of smacking his son upside the head, pretty much at will, Apollo decides to teach his child two things 
WHY he should protect his head, 
WHY his Dad was known as the Master of Disaster. 
Apollo knocks Donny down in the sixth and  eighth rounds. Then to put a final pin in the lesson after Adonis allows himself to be belted in the head over two-hundred and fifty times, Apollo switches from his lighting speed straight punches to harder landing hooks, closing out the fight after nine rounds as well as the day's lesson. 

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