Creed The Sequel

Creed II was released in the United States by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on November 21, 2018. The film has grossed over $55 million and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the cast and character development, calling it a “solid, if predictable” sequel.

Creed II poster.pngIn 1985, Russian boxer Ivan Drago killed former U.S. champion Apollo Creed in a tragic match that stunned the world. Against the wishes of trainer Rocky Balboa, Apollo’s son Adonis Johnson accepts a challenge from Drago’s son — another dangerous fighter. Under guidance from Rocky, Adonis trains for the showdown of his life — a date with destiny that soon becomes his obsession. Now, Johnson and Balboa must confront their shared legacy as the past comes back to haunt each man.

Lundgren Ivan Drago.jpgIvan Drago is an Olympic gold medalist and an amateur boxing champion from the Soviet Union, who had an amateur record of 100–0–0 wins (100 KO). He is billed at 6 ft 6 in (197 cm) and 261 pounds (118 kg). Drago is carefully fitted and trained to be the consummate fighter. His heart rate and punching power are constantly measured via computers during his workouts. Drago is seen receiving intramuscular injections in the movie, implied to be anabolic steroids, though the actual nature of the injected solution is never explicitly stated. Drago was married to another athlete, Ludmilla Vobet  who is mentioned to be a double gold medalist in swimming. She is much more articulate than Drago, who seldom talks, and always speaks on his behalf at press conferences and interviews. She dismisses allegations of Drago’s steroid use, explaining her husband’s freakish size and strength by saying, “he is like your Popeye. He eats his spinach every day!.” Drago and Ludmilla are now divorced and parents to a son named Viktor.

Former champion Apollo Creed , now 43 years old, comes out of retirement to challenge Drago to an exhibition match, promoted by Creed’s former rival Rocky Balboa . Creed arrives to the ring wearing his signature Stars & Stripes boxing garb to “Living in America,” sung by James Brown, dancing upon a huge stage that is lowered into the ring. Before the match begins, Drago mutters “You will lose.”

At the beginning of the fight, a confident Apollo gives Drago a couple of punches while dancing around the Soviet boxer. But then Drago connects with violent punches and from then, Apollo is no match for the Russian fighter. Drago even continues to attack Creed after the bell is rung to end the round, despite this being an exhibition match instead of a professional one. In Apollo’s corner, Rocky contemplates whether to throw in the towel and surrender the fight (against Creed’s earlier instructions), but instead he decides to hold onto the towel. Defenseless, Apollo continues to absorb blows to the head until Drago finally kills him with a final blow to the head.

Drago exhibits no remorse about what happened to the former champion, simply stating in an interview after the fight that “if he dies, he dies.” To avenge Apollo’s death, Rocky travels to the Soviet Union to fight Drago on his home turf in Moscow. The fight eventually becomes a long, drawn-out war between Rocky and Drago, and to everyone’s shock, Rocky manages to severely damage Drago, and the crowd begins to cheer for Rocky, whereas at the start of the fight, they were hostile to him. Drago’s trainer—a Soviet/East German official—insults him, claiming that by allowing an American to fight so admirably on Russian soil, Drago is disgracing the Soviet Union. The enraged Drago grabs him by the throat, throws him out of the ring, and proclaims he only fights for himself. Immediately preceding the final round, Rocky and Drago meet in the center of the ring where the two men touch gloves as Drago says to Rocky, “To the end.” Rocky defeats Drago by KO in the 15th and final round in a dramatic ending.

Nickname(s) The Siberian Express
The Siberian Bull
Death from Above
Gender Male
Occupation Professional boxer
Spouse(s) Ludmilla Vobet (Divorced)
Children Viktor Drago; son with Ludmilla
Religion Atheism
Nationality Soviet

Apollo creed promo.jpg

Apollo Creed as the charismatic, intelligent, and undefeated 33-year-old World Heavyweight Champion. A planned Bicentennial fight against number-one contender Mac Lee Green was scheduled for January 1, 1976, which Creed gladly hypes whenever someone places a microphone in front of him. However, Green hurts his left hand in training, and when none of the other top-ranked contenders, such as Joe Czak and Buddy Shaw, step up to face the champion, Creed responds with a promotion that will generate huge publicity. He will offer an unknown local fighter an opportunity to battle for the title in a match in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Upon reviewing the local boxers in Philadelphia, Creed is drawn to a club fighter named Rocky Balboa because Balboa is Italian and has a catchy nickname, “The Italian Stallion”. Creed also explains his choice by saying: “Who discovered America? An Italian, right? What better way to celebrate its 200th birthday than to get it on with one of his descendants?” Creed brushes off the idea of the left-handed Balboa giving him a fight, pledging to knock him out in three rounds. In spite of his trainer’s concern when he sees Balboa in a television interview, training by punching sides of beef in a meat-packing plant, Creed puts more effort into giving everyone a good show rather than training for the bout. When the match takes place, Creed dresses up like both George Washington and Uncle Sam in the pre-fight festivities (with his matching trademark “stars and stripes” boxing shorts) and is in a jovial mood until Balboa knocks him down in the first round with a single uppercut, the first time Creed has been knocked down in his career.He then endures a gruelling 15-round fight with Balboa, who gets to his feet after Creed takes him down with an uppercut in the 14th round in what appears to be the end of the match. This was the first time anyone had ever taken the champion the full 15 rounds.

Both fighters are beaten, bloodied, and bruised by the end of the bout—Balboa with severe eye damage and Creed with internal bleeding. Creed gains a controversial split decision victory, and neither fighter wants a rematch, at least at that moment.

39-year-old Apollo Creed appears at the first fight between James “Clubber” Lang, 23, and Rocky Balboa, 34, as a guest moderator. This is a match at which Lang defeats Rocky by KO in the second round. Before the match, the former champion Creed steps into the ring to greet the fighters. When he steps up to Lang, the latter slaps away Creed’s hand and mockingly insists that he “don’t want no has-been in my corner”. He further says, “You want to jump, Creed? Jump.” When Creed walks away, stunned at this rude display from the belligerent challenger, Lang laughs at him and calls him a “chicken.” This prompts Creed to tell Balboa to “give everybody a present and drop this chump.” Following the match, in which Lang wins by a brutal second-round knockout, Balboa’s beloved manager Mickey dies in the locker room. Determined in part to put the disrespectful brute in his place, Creed finds an apprehensive and bereaved Balboa at Mickey’s gym. Despite hesitating at first, Balboa agrees to let Creed train him for a rematch against Lang, who laughs off the prospect of “one has-been teaching another” during a television interview. The pair subsequently travels to the “Tough Gym” in Los Angeles, California, where Creed used to train, in preparation for a rematch with Lang. Creed encourages Rocky not to ignore the naysayers that say he is too old but instead refocus himself. During this talk, he states, “Now when we fought…you had that eye of the tiger”.This quote is referred to throughout the movie, including the film’s theme song, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. Creed mentions that Rocky will owe him “a big favor” once he wins, which he does not specify at first. Rocky’s training is geared toward making him quicker and more agile to counter the larger, stronger brawler. Creed teaches Rocky his (Creed’s) own fighting style.Rocky has trouble concentrating during his training, suffering from guilt over Mickey’s demise and self-doubt. Adrian helps Rocky recognize this as a simple fear of losing again and convinces him that he can’t let fear control his life and that he has to fight again, not to prove a point but to live without fear. Rocky agrees and begins to put his fear aside. Creed helps Rocky rediscover the fire inside, which he had lost in the time leading up to the Lang fight, that had won him the title. Creed calls this fire the “eye of the tiger”.

Before the match begins, Creed expresses his confidence that Rocky will win. He gives Rocky his signature “colors” (Creed’s stars and stripes boxing trunks) to wear during the fight (and tells him to wash them afterwards). Re-energized with Creed shadow-boxing in his corner, Rocky regains his title with a three-round knockout of Lang. After his victory, Creed reveals his favor—a third fight with Rocky (not as a bloody fight between bitter rivals, but as a sparring match between friends). Rocky happily accepts the challenge. Creed last line in the film: “You fight Great..but I’m a Great Fighter.” The film ends showing each boxer hitting the other at the same time, symbolizing the equality of their greatness. The result was not revealed until the 2015 film Creed, in which Rocky tells Apollo’s son that Apollo won this fight.

In 1985, Apollo (43 years old), comes out of a five-year retirement to fight mammoth Soviet Olympic boxer Ivan Drago, who has come to the United States on behalf of the Soviet Union to enter the world of professional boxing.Not wanting the Soviets to appear superior to American fighters, the patriotic Apollo challenges Drago to an exhibition match and calls out Drago at the press conference that sets up their exhibition bout in the Jubilee showroom at the first MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 31, 1985.

Highlighted by a pre-match rendition of “Living in America” by James Brown, Apollo enters the arena from a descending scaffold overhead, dancing to the music in his old red, white, and blue Uncle Sam outfit. With Rocky, Duke, and Paulie in his corner, Apollo is overly confident that he can dispense of Drago with ease. However, Apollo is not ready for the extreme size and strength of the Russian. After taunting the Russian and landing a number of ineffectual punches, Creed is pummeled badly in the first round. Rocky wants to stop the fight but Apollo refuses. Apollo adamantly tells Rocky not to stop the fight “no matter what…no matter what!”

By the start of the second round, Drago pummels Creed with ease. Rocky again tries to stop the fight by throwing in the towel. Apollo tells Rocky not to stop the fight, giving Drago a chance to deliver a fatal blow (as Rocky drops the towel causing the fight to stop) to Apollo, who dies in Rocky’s arms in the middle of the ring. Drago wins by technical knockout.

An enraged Rocky then sets out to avenge Apollo’s death by beating Drago in the Soviet Union, with the Soviet premier and the Politburo looking on. He succeeds as the film ends with Rocky winning the fight by knockout in the last round.

Adonis “Donnie” Creed, born Adonis JohnsonAdonis Creed.jpg

  • Donnie Johnson
  • Hollywood
  • D (by Bianca)
  • Baby Creed
Gender Male
Occupation Professional boxer (formerly businessman)
Relatives Apollo Creed (father)
Mary Anne Creed (adoptive mother)
Bianca Taylor (fiancée)
Amara Creed (daughter)
Unnamed Half Siblings (biological paternal half siblings/adoptive siblings)
Ms. Johnson (biological mother)

Adonis is the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, the result of an affair by the former heavyweight champion and a woman with the surname Johnson who died sometime in the 90’s. Adonis spends the first several years of his life in foster care and juvenile hall, until he is subsequently adopted by Mary Anne Creed, Apollo’s widow. He lives a life of luxury and maintains a stable white collar job, only to abandon it to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a professional boxer. He goes to Philadelphia and convinces his late father’s friend Rocky Balboa to train and mentor him

In 1998, Adonis “Donnie” Johnson is spending time at a juvenile detention center in Los Angeles, eventually getting into a fight with other children. As a result, he is sent to solitary confinement. Mary Anne Creed , Apollo’s widow, meets with Adonis and adopts him; informing him that he is Apollo Creed’s son (sired from an extramarital affair). Seventeen years later, in 2015, Adonis (using his biological mother’s last name Johnson) is a wealthy young college graduate working at a securities firm. However, on weekends, he sneaks out to Tijuana to fight professional boxing matches against unheralded opponents, and maintains an undefeated 15–0 record. Soon, Adonis resigns from his securities firm job to pursue his dream of becoming a boxer. Mary Anne vehemently opposes Adonis’ plot of becoming a boxer, remembering how her husband was killed in the ring during a match against Ivan Drago thirty years ago and how Rocky Balboa was forced into retirement after suffering brain damage. Adonis finds it hard to get anyone in Los Angeles to train him due to his father’s death in the ring, particularly after he suffers an embarrassing loss in a sparring match to light heavyweight contender Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler . Undaunted, Adonis moves out of his mother’s residence and travels to Philadelphia in hopes of seeking out his father’s best friend and former rival, Rocky .

Once in Philadelphia, Adonis meets Rocky at Adrian’s Restaurant and tries to convince him to be his trainer. Having given up boxing, and believing Apollo wouldn’t want his son being a fighter, Rocky turns his offer down. However, Adonis’ persistence eventually wins Rocky over. He forms a strong bond with Rocky and regards him as an uncle, even going so far as to call him “Unc” and introduce him to people as such. Meanwhile, Adonis forms a relationship with his downstairs neighbor, Bianca , a singer-songwriter with progressive hearing loss. Donnie gets a match with Leo “The Lion” Sporino the son of a trainer, who originally wanted Rocky to coach his son. He moves in with Rocky to train for the upcoming match. Rocky takes Donnie—now known as “Hollywood”—to the Front Street Gym to prepare with the help of several of Rocky’s longtime friends, where Adonis markedly improves his hand speed, stamina, and defense. Prior to the fight, Sporino’s father learns that Adonis is in fact Apollo Creed’s son. After Adonis wins the fight in a 2nd-round KO, Sporino’s father alerts the media of Adonis’ parentage. Meanwhile, World light heavyweight champion “Pretty” Ricky Conlan , due to gun charges, will go to prison, which will effectively end his career, is gearing up for his final fight against Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler. After Conlan breaks Wheeler’s jaw at the weigh-in for their title fight, Conlan’s manager, Tommy Holiday , decides that the best way to end his career would be against the son of Apollo Creed. Conlan is against it, but reluctantly agrees. Holiday meets with Rocky and Adonis, demanding that he should use the name Creed if he wants a shot at the light heavyweight title. Adonis is reluctant due to his desire to forge his own legacy. He only consents after Bianca persuades him to use Apollo’s surname.

During one intense night of training, Rocky becomes ill and is taken to the hospital. He is diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but refuses to undergo chemotherapy, remembering that it didn’t save his wife, Adrian. Adonis discovers pamphlets about the disease in Rocky’s coat pocket after another late night training session, where Rocky tells Adonis that they are not family, and that he has nothing to live for now that Adrian, his best friend and brother-in-law Paulie, Apollo and his old coach Mickey, have died, and his son, Robert Jr., has moved away to Vancouver. Later on, Adonis is about to attend a concert, where Bianca is about to perform. However, after a stranger refers to Adonis as “baby creed”, Adonis becomes very upset, and attacks the stranger in a fit of rage, prompting security to restrain him. Adonis is then arrested for assault and sent to jail. When Rocky comes to bail him out, Adonis is still upset, and tells off the former heavyweight champion, accusing him of getting Apollo killed in the ring.

Later, Adonis goes to Bianca’s apartment to apologize and explain the situation. However, Bianca deems Adonis to be too dangerous to approach, and orders him to leave immediately in order to protect herself. Adonis then meets up with Rocky, explaining that he is going to use the name Creed and fight against Conlan, but only if Rocky gets treatment for his illness. While Rocky is still sick, he still trains Adonis in the hospital room and back in his house.

The match takes place in Conlan’s hometown of Liverpool, England, where Adonis is antagonized by Conlan at the press conference. Before the match, Bianca comes to their hotel at Rocky’s behest, and the two reconcile. Mary Anne sends Adonis his father’s iconic American flag boxing shorts; the back of the shorts bearing the name Johnson and the front bearing the name Creed. After some early struggles, Adonis shocks the world by giving Conlan all he can handle. He ultimately goes the distance, even managing to knock Conlan down for the first time in his career as Bianca and the once-antagonistic crowd begin to cheer him on. Although he loses by split decision, Adonis gains the respect and admiration of Conlan and everyone watching.

Back in Philadelphia, Adonis and a frail but rather improving Rocky go up the Rocky Steps, representing a victory for both Rocky and Adonis in fighting their respective battles.

Robert “Rocky” Balboa Rocky balboa.jpeg

Nickname(s) The Italian Stallion
The Pride of Philadelphia, “Stallion” (Apollo), “Unc” (Adonis), “Rocco” (Paulie), “Meatball” (Thunderlips)
Gender Male
Occupation Professional boxer
Restaurant owner
Boxing trainer
Adrianna “Adrian” Pennino
(m. 1976; died 2002)
Children Robert “Rocky” Balboa Jr. (son)
Relatives Paulie Pennino (brother-in-law)
Logan Balboa (grandson)
Amara Creed (goddaughter)
Religion Roman Catholic
Nationality American
Ethnicity Italian

Robert “Rocky” Balboa was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 6, 1945 . He was the only child in a Roman Catholic Italian-American family. However, the surname Balboa/Valboa (roughly meaning “beautiful valley”) originates from a Galician-speaking town in northwestern Spain. When Rocky is spoken to by his priest, Father Carmine, it is apparent that he understands Italian very well, including a scene in which he translates for Tommy Gunn. It is undetermined how well he actually speaks the language, as his responses are always in English.

During the scene in which Rocky takes Adrianna “Adrian” Pennino skating on Thanksgiving, he tells her, “Yeah – My ol’ man, who was never the sharpest, told me – I weren’t born with much brain, so I better use my body.” This encouraged him to take up boxing. He trained very hard so he could grow up to be like his idol Rocky Marciano. Unable to live on the small pay of club fights, and being unable to find work anywhere else, Rocky got a job as a collector for Tony Gazzo, the local loan shark, just to make ends meet. By late 1975, Rocky had fought in 64 fights, winning 44 (38 KO’S) and losing 20. Rocky was proud that he never had his nose broken in a professional fight. His nickname is “The Italian Stallion”, spawning from his Italian-American heritage.

Balboa resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and married Adriana “Adrian” Pennino in 1976. They were married for 26 years. The two have a son, Robert “Rocky” Balboa Jr., who unlike his father goes by Robert.

After Adrian’s death in 2002, Rocky and his brother-in-law Paulie live together for a short time, then Paulie moves in with an unnamed girlfriend. Now living completely alone again, Rocky cannot come to terms with present-day living and constantly thinks about the past. With the help of Paulie and reunited long-time acquaintance Marie, Rocky begins to move on with his life and in the process restores his relationship with his only child, Robert. Rocky’s relationship with Marie is established as platonic in the film, but a hint of romantic interest is revealed with a kiss on the lips the night before the last fight of his life.

Rocky Balboa fights as a southpaw (left-handed). In the second film, against Apollo Creed, he comes out orthodox and Mickey intends for him to switch back to southpaw late in the last round, but Balboa refuses saying “no tricks, I ain’t switching”. Mickey tells him that Apollo is ready for him (if he continues using his right) and so towards the end of the round, he does indeed lead with his left. The real reason for this is Sylvester Stallone tore his pectoral muscles in training,but the idea was probably taken from the great left-handed boxer “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler who would sometimes come out orthodox to confuse opponents.

Rocky was an all-or-nothing brawler coming into his first bout with Creed; however, under the training of Mickey, he began to develop his boxing skills which he eventually mastered. During his reign as world champion, he became a class hybrid fighter, possessing the qualities of an inside fighter, brawler, and swarmer. With the exception of his rematch against Clubber Lang (where he fights as an outside fighter), he often advances quickly upon his opponents, driving them into the ropes in order to attack the body. Balboa’s best attribute is without question his near-superhuman ability to absorb a multitude of the hardest hits without falling — an attribute he often employs on purpose to wear down his opponents, sacrificing defensive strategy to land his own punches. Because of this rare talent, Balboa can afford to keep his hands in position to strike rather than up high to block. Because he takes more punches than he throws, it is easy to overlook his incredible punching power. Rocky also has an uncanny ability to sense weakness in his opponents, often capitalizing on every shift in momentum possible. He is acknowledged as having the most devastating body attack in the sport, with his body blows causing internal bleeding in Creed and breaking Drago’s ribs. After going two rounds with Balboa, Ivan Drago told his trainer (in Russian), “He’s not human, he’s like a piece of iron.” Mason Dixon once remarked about Balboa: “that guy’s got bricks in his gloves.” These qualities, in concert, helped land him a high percentage of KO victories over the course of his career.

PlotCreed poster.jpg

In 1998, Adonis “Donnie” Johnson, the son of an extramarital lover of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, is serving time in a Los Angelesyouth detention center when Creed’s widow, Mary Anne, visits and offers to take him in. In 2015, Donnie resigns from the Smith Boardley Financial Group to pursue his dream of becoming a professional boxer. Mary Anne vehemently opposes his aspiration, remembering how her husband was killed in the ring by Ivan Drago thirty years ago. Donnie auditions at Los Angeles’ elite Delphi Boxing Academy, managed by family friend Tony “Little Duke” Evers Jr., the son of Rocky’s trainer Tony “Duke” Evers, but is turned down. Undaunted, Donnie travels to Philadelphia in hopes of getting in touch with his father’s old friend and rival, former heavyweight champion, Rocky Balboa.

Donnie meets Rocky at Rocky’s Italian restaurant, Adrian’s, named in honor of his deceased wife, and asks Rocky to become his trainer. Rocky is reluctant to return to boxing, having already made a one-off comeback at a very advanced age despite having suffered brain trauma during his career as a fighter. However, he eventually agrees. Donnie asks him about the “secret third fight” between him and Apollo just after Apollo helped Rocky regain the heavyweight title, and Rocky reveals that Apollo won. Donnie trains at the Front Street Gym, with several of Rocky’s longtime friends as cornermen. He also finds a love interest in Bianca, an up-and-coming singer and songwriter.

Donnie, now known as “Hollywood Donnie”, defeats a local fighter, and word gets out that he is Creed’s illegitimate son. Rocky receives a call from the handlers of world light heavyweight champion “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, who is being forced into retirement by an impending prison term. He offers to make Donnie his final challenger—provided that he change his name to Adonis Creed. Donnie balks at first, wanting to forge his own legacy. However, he eventually agrees.

While helping Donnie train, Rocky learns he has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is unwilling to undergo chemotherapy, remembering that it was not enough to save Adrian when she had ovarian cancer. His diagnosis and the fact that his best friend and brother-in-law Paulie Pennino—Adrian’s brother—has now died in addition to Adrian, Apollo, and his old trainer, Mickey Goldmill, further force him to confront his own mortality. Seeing Rocky shaken, Donnie urges him to seek treatment.

Donnie fights Conlan at Goodison Park in Conlan’s hometown of Liverpool, and many parallels emerge between the bout that ensues and Apollo and Rocky’s first fightforty years earlier. First, before entering the ring, Donnie receives a present from Mary Anne — new American flag trunks similar to the ones Apollo and later Rocky wore. Additionally, to the surprise of nearly everyone, Donnie gives Conlan all he can handle. Conlan knocks Donnie down, but Donnie recovers to knock Conlan down for the first time in his career. Donnie goes the distance, but Conlan wins on a split decision (just as Apollo retained his title by split decision against Rocky). However, Donnie has won the respect of Conlan and the crowd; as Max Kellerman puts it while calling the fight for HBO, “Conlan won the fight, but Creed won the night.” Conlan tells Donnie that he is the future of the light heavyweight division.

The film ends with Donnie and a frail but improving Rocky climbing the 72 steps outside the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


  • Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed: An underdog but talented light heavyweight boxer and the son of world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. He goes by the name Donnie Johnson.
    • Alex Henderson as young Adonis Johnson
  • Sylvester Stallone as Robert “Rocky” Balboa, Sr.: A two-time world heavyweight champion and Apollo’s rival-turned-friend who becomes Adonis’ trainer and mentor. He owns and operates an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia named after his deceased wife Adrian (played by Talia Shire in previous films).
  • Tessa Thompsonas Bianca: A singer-songwriter who becomes Adonis’ love interest.
  • Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed: Apollo’s widow and Adonis’ stepmother, who takes in Adonis as a child following the death of Adonis’ biological mother.
  • Graham McTavish as Tommy Holiday: Conlan’s trainer.
  • Wood Harrisas Tony “Little Duke” Evers: One of Danny Wheeler’s assistant trainers. His father, Tony Evers Sr. (played by Tony Burton in each preceding Rocky film), was a father figure for Apollo and his trainer/manager when Apollo became world heavyweight champion. He then became one of Rocky’s trainers for his rematch against Clubber Lang and after Apollo’s death.
  • Ritchie Coster as Pete Sporino
  • Tone Trump as himself
  • Brian Anthony Wilson as James

A number of figures (real-life fighters and trainers) from the sport of boxing play roles in the film:

  • Anthony Bellew as “Pretty” Ricky Conlan: A British boxer, and the world light heavyweight champion.
  • Andre Ward as Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler: A light heavyweight boxer.[13]
  • Gabriel Rosado as Leo “The Lion” Sporino: A light heavyweight boxer.[13]
  • Jacob “Stitch” Duran as himself: An esteemed cutman in both boxing and mixed martial arts, who is recruited by Rocky to be in Adonis’ corner. He previously portrayed the cutman of Mason “The Line” Dixon (played by Antonio Tarver) in Rocky Balboa.

Liev Schreiber voices an HBO 24/7 announcer, while Michael Buffer cameos as himself serving as ring announcer. Other sports media personalities who appear include ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon, Hannah Storm, and Max Kellerman, and HBO Sports’ boxing announcer Jim Lampley.

Archive footage of Carl Weathers’ Apollo Creed is used multiple times in the film.

Three years after his loss to “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, Adonis Creed scores a string of victories, culminating in a victory over Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler to win the WBC World Heavyweight Championship. Now a worldwide star, Adonis proposes to his girlfriend, Bianca Taylor, who agrees to marry him. When Bianca suggests starting a new life together in Los Angeles, Adonis is reluctant to leave his life behind in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Ivan Drago, a former Soviet boxer who killed Adonis’s father, Apollo Creed, in the ring thirty-three years earlier, sees an opportunity to regain the glory that was taken from him as a result of his loss to Rocky Balboa in Moscow by pitting his son, Viktor Drago (with the assistance of Buddy Marcelle, a promoter who has followed Viktor’s career closely), against Adonis. When Rocky refuses to support Adonis’s decision to accept Viktor’s challenge, Adonis, feeling betrayed, decides to leave for Los Angeles.

Adonis and Bianca settle down in a luxurious apartment in Los Angeles close to Adonis’s adoptive mother, and Apollo’s widow, Mary Anne. As Adonis and Bianca adjust to their new life on the west coast and prepare for the upcoming match with Viktor, Bianca learns that she is pregnant. Adonis recruits Tony “Little Duke” Evers, son of his father’s trainer, as Rocky’s replacement. Overwhelmed and angry with all the recent developments in his life, Adonis rushes into the match, getting himself badly injured. Viktor is disqualified for hitting Adonis while he is down, allowing Adonis to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

His body and ego shattered, Adonis becomes increasingly disconnected from Bianca. Mary Anne reaches out to Rocky in hopes of having him come to help Adonis out of his slump; Rocky arrives, he and Adonis make up, and Rocky agrees to train Adonis properly for a rematch against Viktor, who is suffering near-torture levels of physical tests by his father. Bianca gives birth to a baby girl, and they name her Amara. Adonis and Bianca’s fears are realized when their child is born deaf, inherited from her mother’s progressive degenerative hearing disorder.

While Viktor continues to taunt Adonis publicly, he is constantly pressured by his father to regain their honor. Rocky takes Adonis to a decrepit location in the California desert to retrain, describing it as a place where fighters are “reborn”. Adonis undergoes a rigorous and brutal training regimen with Rocky, adapting to the kind of punishment he now knows he’ll receive from Viktor in the ring.

The rematch is considerably more balanced as a more controlled and focused Adonis exchanges equal blows with Viktor. Since Viktor is accustomed to winning all of his fights by knockout, his fights have never lasted beyond the fourth round, something that Adonis uses to his advantage as he endures Viktor’s punishment deeper into the match. As the fight progresses, Adonis manages to land sequence after sequence of effective blows, knocking Viktor down twice in the same round. Viktor’s mother Ludmilla, who had been sitting ringside with some of Viktor’s supporters, departs when the tide of the fight shifts in Adonis’ favor, knocking Viktor off-balance emotionally. Seeing Viktor cornered and receiving multiple strikes without returning any blows, Ivan throws in the towel, conceding the fight to Adonis to ensure his son isn’t seriously injured or killed. Though Viktor is ashamed, Ivan assures him it is okay. Ivan seemingly comes to terms with earlier statements made by Viktor regarding the fair weathered nature of the same supporters who had also rejected him, and resolves that his relationship with his son is more important to him than his former glory.

Viktor and Ivan are later training together back in Ukraine. Rocky travels to Vancouver to make peace with his own estranged son, Robert, and meets his grandson Logan for the first time. Adonis visits Apollo’s grave where he makes peace with his deceased father and the burden of carrying on his legacy, as he and Bianca, who is sporting new hearing aids, introduce him to his granddaughter.

  • Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed: An underdog but talented light heavyweight boxer and the son of world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. He goes by the name Donnie Johnson.
  • Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa: A two-time world heavyweight champion and Apollo’s rival-turned-friend who becomes Adonis’ trainer and mentor. He owns and operates an Italian restaurant in Philadelphia named after his deceased wife, Adrian.
  • Tessa Thompson as Bianca Taylor: Adonis’s girlfriend, who since the first film has become his fiancée and the mother of his child. Also a singer-songwriter with progressive hearing loss.
  • Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago: Russia’s former prize champion boxer, who with the secret use of steroids and advanced training, gained worldwide attention due to his brute strength that had not been seen before. Years prior, he killed Apollo Creed during an exhibition boxing match, and was later defeated by Rocky.
  • Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago: Drago’s son who is also a boxer, and Adonis’ new rival.
  • Phylicia Rashad as Mary Anne Creed: Apollo’s widow and Adonis’ stepmother, who takes in Adonis as a child following the death of Adonis’ biological mother.
  • Andre Ward as Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler: A light heavyweight boxer.
  • Wood Harris as Tony “Little Duke” Evers: One of Wheeler’s assistant trainers. His father, Tony “Duke” Evers, was a father-figure for Apollo as well as his trainer/manager when Apollo became world heavyweight champion. He then became one of Rocky’s trainers after Apollo’s death. He assists Rocky in training Adonis.
  • Brigitte Nielsen as Ludmila Drago: Ivan’s wife and Viktor’s mother.[6][7][8]
  • Milo Ventimiglia as Robert Balboa: Rocky’s son, who moved to Vancouver in the period between Rocky Balboa and Creed.[9]
  • Russell Hornsby as Buddy Marcelle: A boxing promoter who sets up the match between Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago.

Archive footage of Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed is used throughout the film, and the actor’s likeness appears through the use of photographs and murals.