Sunday, March 12, 2023

Why Clubber Lang HATED Apollo Creed


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.

Clubber Lang vs Ivan Drago: Who Would Win?

Drago finds Clubber and challenges him to a fight. He destroys the guy and then calls out Drago to prove he is the best by beating the man who killed Creed and retired Rocky. Of course, Clubber will never back down, so he says yes and the fight between Drago and Clubber is set. With no title on the line and Drago not being proven each fighter has to take a tune up fight to get the media attention the fight deserves. Clubber calls out the interim champ, and since Rocky and Rocky only beat him was now gone the media runs with it to sell the fight. The press eats it up, and the fight is set.

Now that the fight is set. Who would win between Clubber Lang and Ivan Drago?

Let's break this down into three categories.

·        Physically Better

·        Who is Mentally Better

·        And who is more skilled?

Drago is a 6'5 engineered fighter from Russia who was pumped full of steroids and trained by Russia's best trainers.

Clubber Lang is a tough guy from Chicago with hood strength and a CT Fletcher-type work ethic.

At 6'5, the reach advantage for Drago would be a challenging obstacle to get around, and his power would not have diminished much even though he won't have access to the high-quality steroid cocktails he had in Russia.

Clubber is more muscular; if he can get close to Drago, he can break his body down easily.

Drago was much stronger than Rocky and Apollo, so it will be tall order to overpower him. The physical advantage would go to Drago.

Mentally Clubber is a maniac, and his anger can fuel him enough to get through the first few rounds. Drago doesn't know how to lose and starts to crumble when he gets hurt. If Clubber hurts him, he can get the upper hand. Drago was exiled from Russia so he wouldn't be fighting on his home turf, which helped him with Creed, but when his country turned on him, it cost him, Rocky.

I'll give the mental edge to Clubber.

Last is ability. Clubber is a Slugger. He doesn't seem to have any strategy except beat people down for the win. Drago had some skills but suffered from the same downfall of being bigger and stronger than everyone, so he didn't need to develop his craft. When he fought Creed, Creed outboxed him but was overpowered in the end. Rocky 3 Clubber showed he could analyze fighters by breaking down Rocky's style before the fight. He didn't anticipate Rocky switching it up. I'm sure Clubber would have seen the Creed vs. Drago and Drago vs. Rocky fight and analyzed Drago enough to find holes in his defense.

This bit of knowledge may give him the edge.

It's a draw for ability.

Let's now go to the fight. The fight would start with Clubber coming out fast and pressuring Drago with shots. He will overwhelm him but not hurt him. Drago will withstand the storm and come back firing in round 2. Round 3 is a slugfest with both fighters taking damage.

This round is a tie. Round 4 goes to Clubber because he can finally hurt Drago.

Round 5 goes to Drago because Clubber starts to get tired. 

Round 6 is the limit for both fighters.

Put in the comments who you think wins.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Apollo Creed vs Clubber Lang: Who would've Won?

Who would've won a fight between Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang?

Part 1: Fighter Breakdowns

If you are a fan of Rocky Movies like I am, you would've wanted to see this fight happen, and I know it would have been a classic. The problem is that it never did, and now with Creed 3 on the horizon, we can only see these two boxing movie icons clash via their sons in a Creed Trilogy. 

Now, if you haven't heard of the Rocky franchise, you have been living under a rock. Just kidding, let's go over it briefly. I will only recap Rocky 1-4 because those four movies explain why Apollo and Clubber should have fought. Creed 1 and 2 make a case for the sons fighting and redeeming the legacies; I will touch base on that later.

Apollo Creed. Rocky is the story of an underdog boxer who gets a shot to fight the world's heavyweight boxing champ. Apollo has run out of opponents; because of this, he's losing fans and money. Apollo and his camp devise a gimmick to take a random fighter from the slums and give him a shot at the heavyweight title. This boxer turns out to be Rocky Balboa, and instead of putting on a show for the fans and stroking Apollo's ego, Rocky almost beats Apollo. 

Rocky II focuses on the rematch with Apollo Creed. Rocky now has little money, fame, and a family. His eye was battered in the fight, and retirement was recommended by his new wife, Adrian, and everyone around him. He is somewhat content. On the other hand, Apollo is embarrassed that he almost lost to a "nobody," and now his reputation is tarnished. After insulting Rocky's ego enough, Apollo demands a rematch and gets it. Rocky also has a new reason to fight. His wife Adrian is pregnant, and he can't get good work due to his criminal record and illiteracy. He doesn't want to return to working for the mob, so he accepts the fight against his wife Adrian's wishes. Adrian had been working back at her old job to make ends meet, had a stress-induced pregnancy, and went into a coma. She wakes up and tells Rocky to go "win" the fight. This time Rocky beats Apollo and becomes the heavyweight champ of the world! 

Rocky III picks up with Rocky enjoying being the champ. He is famous, rich, has his family, and is still the Heavyweight champion of the world.

Until Clubber Lang challenges him, Clubber Lang is a heavy-hitting, hard-nosed slugger from Chicago who is unbeaten and unimpressed by Rocky Balboa. Rocky sees him as just another fighter and doesn't see a problem fighting him. His trainer Micky sees Clubber as a problem, and he reveals to Rocky that his fights have been handpicked to keep his champion. Rocky doesn't like this, so he agrees to fight against Micky's wishes. He eventually talks Micky into agreeing to train him and vows that it would be his last fight. Rocky has a newly lavish lifestyle and a new gym to train in. He loses his killer instinct, and on fight night, he is knocked out in only the 2nd round by Clubber Lang. Before the fight began, an altercation almost broke out between Clubber and Apollo, showing signs that Clubber would have fought Apollo right after Rocky just to prove he was the best in the world. He didn't get that chance. Apollo was so offended by Clubber's disrespect he joined forces with Rocky. I taught him his fighting style, and Rocky beat Clubber in the rematch. There should have been a third fight, but I will go over that more later. 

Rocky IV starts where Rocky III ends. Rocky agrees to give Apollo a third fight in private. (He admits Apollo won later on in the franchise. Creed.) The two are now friends. Rocky retires the champ (even though he didn't give Clubber a third fight but gave his new friend a third fight in private.) A new Russian fighter named Ivan Drago is beating everyone, and Apollo is offended that he is making America look bad. Apollo is still not done with boxing, and I guess after redeeming himself against Rocky in private and showing that his training methods work against a ring warrior like Clubber Lang, he was feeling himself. He challenges Drago to an exhibition match. He's killed in the ring. Rocky was in his corner and never threw in the towel, even though he should have, but Apollo told him no, so it was a big dilemma that ended with the death of his friend. 

Side note. Clubber Lang is still not offered a third fight. Instead, Apollo and Rocky dance off into the sunset and choose to fight a Russian in an exhibition match. 

Back to Rocky. Rocky is heartbroken and stricken with guilt by the death of his friend. He chooses to fight Ivan Drago and avenge his best friend. Rocky travels to Russia. Trains with Apollo's trainer Duke. He grows a beard. He fights a hard battle with Drago and wins, restoring the world's respect for American boxers and avenging Apollo's death. 

He still hasn't given Clubber a third fight, and now with Apollo dead, there will never be a chance for Clubber vs. Apollo. 

Now back to the original question. Who would have won the fight between Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang? Let's remove Rocky IV from our memory and say that Rocky fights Clubber a third time. Rocky gets beat and retires, and Clubber calls out Apollo Creed. That fight would have been similar to Ali vs. Frasier.

Let's break down the fighters based on strengths and weaknesses.

Apollo Creed

Apollo Creeds Strengths:
• Speed & Agility
• Head movement (he's tough to hit)
• He's taller with a little more reach.
• Experience (he's older than Clubber)

Apollo Creeds Weaknesses:
• Susceptible to body damage (Rocky killed him inside.)
• Show boats too much
• Can become prideful when he is losing (which eventually got him killed in the ring.)
Clubber Lang

• Clubber Lang's Strengths:
• Power & Speed
• Strong Chin (hard to knock down)
Offensive Footwork (he can cut off the ring and set up big shots.)

Clubber Lang's Weaknesses:
• Stamina
• Emotional (he let's people get in his head.)
Now breaking down the stats Clubber has less weaknesses, but less weapons as well. Both fighter fight off emotion and that can lead to an early slugfest which may result in a first or second round knockout for either one of them. If it goes the distance Apollo would win on points, but it's a slim chance the fight would go the distance with Clubbers history of finishing opponents early. Neither one of them will take a loss well, so this matchup will go at least three fights with the last one being the end of both of their careers.

This would have been a battle to see, and that would have been a great way to set up a Creed franchise to go alongside with Rocky. Rocky IV still was epic and that movie was great, but a quick spinoff of Apollo Creed vs Clubber Lang would have been an epic story too.

Why Clubber Lang HATED Apollo Creed

  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 ...