Have you ever wondered why Clubber Lang was angry with Apollo Creed before his first fight with Rocky?
Did you notice that in the first fight between Rocky and Clubber, Apollo walked straight to Clubber's corner to shake his hand first?
It's because Clubber Lang was once a student of Apollo Creed.
In Rocky 3, the altercation between Clubber and Apollo gives a little history between the two fighters. Clubber Lang is younger than Rocky and Apollo, so there is evidence that Clubber could have sought out Apollo for guidance early in his career.
In Rocky 1, Apollo Creed was the undisputed, undefeated greatest boxer in the world. Rocky 1 was also released six years before Rocky 3, so Clubber would have still been an amateur fighter during this time frame.
The story behind the scenes is that Clubber approached Apollo for help early on in his boxing career. Since Apollo was nearing retirement, he probably agreed to take on Clubber as a student, which would have also given Clubber access to Apollo's trainer Duke. The knowledge from Apollo and Duke would have helped Clubber grow as a fighter by adding speed and technique to his brute strength. The problem with this union was that Apollo wanted one last fight before he retired, and since he received negative reviews on his previous fight with actual ranked fighters, he needed a gimmick.
This event is where Clubber's anger developed for Apollo and now Rocky. In Clubber's eyes, Apollo should have past the torch to him, but instead, Apollo chose to fight Rocky as more of a sideshow fight to hype up his image. While promoting this fight, Clubber was put on the back burner. Duke was no longer available, and Clubber had to resort to training on his own again.
After Apollo's debatable victory against Rocky, Apollo went through an emotional tailspin which led to the events of Rocky 2. This meant that Clubber was completely shut out from Apollo, so that he would have had no choice but to train on his own.
Clubber now had a vendetta against Apollo Creed and made it his mission to beat him for the Title and solidify himself as the greatest boxer in the world. Clubber planned to call out Apollo after he beat Rocky in the second fight.
There was only one problem.
Rocky beat Apollo Creed.
This loss completely diminished Apollo Creeds' image in the eyes of Clubber Lang, who now viewed him as an inferior fighter. Clubber was racking up wins around this time, and his sights were set on taking the Title from Rocky not only because he wanted to be the best but also to prove to Apollo Creed that he was the better fighter.
This quest was showcased in Rocky 3, and it also explains why Clubber and Apollo immediately had bad blood. Apollo knew he had turned his back on Clubber, and Rocky had to pay the price.
That's the real reason why Apollo agreed to train Rocky for the rematch. He knew he had already created a monster, and for Rocky to stand a chance, he had to help him.
Once Clubber saw that Creed was training Rocky, this upset him even more, but he already had the Title, so he felt he had nothing left to prove to Apollo or the world. This mentality ultimately cost Clubber his Title in the second fight with Rocky.
So, there you have it: the story behind Clubber Lang's hatred for Rocky and Apollo Creed. It was more than just wanting the Title.