Creed: nods to the Rocky Balboa saga

Find references to the Rocky saga scattered in the feature film Creed: The Legacy of Rocky Balboa, worn by Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone.

Creed – The Legacy of Rocky Balboa airs tonight on TV. As its name suggests, Creed is part of the saga of one of the most famous fictional boxers in cinema: Rocky Balboa. It explores the life of Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, and former adversary and then trainer of Rocky in four films of the franchise.

Find the nods to previous Rocky films in this first part of Creed, which will be followed a few years later by Creed 2, still with Michael B. Jordan and still with Sylvester Stallone, the eternal interpreter and creator of the character.

The gray tracksuit

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

Adonis Creed wears a plain gray tracksuit with a hood that is reminiscent of another similar outfit worn by Rocky in the first film when he runs through the streets of Philadelphia until he reaches the famous series of steps that are so difficult to climb.

The chicken hunt

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

In order to better control their cardio and improve their speed and agility, Rocky (in Rocky II) then Adonis are forced by their trainer (Mickey for the first, Rocky for the second) to catch a chicken. An often laborious but always rewarding test for the boxers when finally the animal was caught in the trap.

Who won the Rocky III fight?

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

At the end of Rocky III, Rocky and Apollo engage in a friendly fight offscreen and without stake. For years, fans have wondered who won this friendly matchup. The answer is given in Creed, during the first meeting between Adonis and Rocky. The latter admits that it was Apollo who won.

Mickey’s tips

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

In rocky, when two groupies came to ask Rocky for an autograph in the middle of training, Mickey would send them to graze before giving his foal, who was just starting to go out with Adrian, advice: “Woman, it shoots your knees”. A line quoted by Rocky to Adonis to highlight his recent love for Bianca (Tessa Thompson). The difference being that the Italian Stallion, strong in his infinite love for Adrian, invites Bianca to attend Adonis’ training.

Apollo’s outfit

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

Before the film’s final fight, Adonis’ mother hands him shorts and gloves that belonged to his father Apollo. The latter had lent it to Rocky during his fight against Clubber Lang (Rocky III) and it was worn by Apollo during his last fight against Ivan Drago (Rocky IV).

Rocky’s turtle

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

Seen as a baby in the first Rocky then somewhat neglected during the saga, the boxer’s turtles are part of the saga, as much as his dog Butkus. One of these turtles makes a winking appearance in Creed, in his aquarium. The turtles are called Cuff and Link and although it is unknown which one is in this scene, she looks perfectly healthy despite the passage of years.

Mickey’s Club

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

Mickey Goldmill (played by Burgess Meredith) is a former boxing professional who worked between 1922 and 1947 and has since become a trainer in Philadelphia, training Rocky Balboa among others. He died in Rocky III, jostled by Clubber Lang (Mr. T). Rocky will take over his club and several scenes from Creed take place there.

A mythical staircase

Creed: nods to the rocky balboa saga
MGM / Warner Bros.

Now officially called the “Rocky Steps”, the steps of this staircase lead to the south facade of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia in the United States. They have imprinted themselves on the retinas of viewers of the saga because they are regularly visited by Rocky during his long career. Aged in Creed, he is content to borrow them with Adonis in a beautiful passing of the torch scene.

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