Stallone Made Tyson Extra in Rocky Balboa Instead of Opponent

Did anyone else know that Mike Tyson asked Sylvester Stallone to be the main character in Rocky Balboa? I certainly didn’t…

In what was probably another attempt for Mike to score some serious money, Stallone thought it was a bad idea and turned down Mike’s offer. The reason he gave Starpulse was probably the same one that I would give:

The 60-year-old actor told the website that “Mike wanted to fight me in this film but I thought it was a bad idea. I know I’m not that young, but I’m still too young to die. I said, ‘Thanks, but I don’t think that would be a very good idea. Thank you very much.’

Oh but it gets better…

“But he kept calling the office saying he wanted to be in the film fighting me. Eventually, I relented and said he could be in the audience. Then I never heard from him. Suddenly, when I turn up in the ring he’s there at the side. I turned round and said to the crew, ‘Can you make sure you keep that son of a bitch out of the ring. If he gets in he’ll kill me.’ The man’s a killer.”

It’s so like Mike - Keep on pursuing things until he at least got in the movie. I wonder if the crew contacted Tyson behind Stallone’s back and made the whole thing come kind of prank against him. After all, Tyson would need to know the days they were filming the movie, where at, and all that good stuff.

Michael Woods from TSS brings up an interesting point: Viewers were able to believe Rocky had a chance since Antonio Tarver isn’t as ripped as other boxers…

Antonio Tarver was fine in the role, though I still think Shannon Briggs would have been the best choice to play the part of Mason Dixon. Those dreds, that physique…then again, Stallone may not have wanted such a specimen to stand next to him, and allow the audience to compare the two.

Tarver wasn’t all that ripped, and thus, we were better able to believe that the geriatric Balboa could stand toe to toe with him…

I really never thought about it but I do remember that while watching the movie, I did think that Tarver wasn’t as physically fit as I was expecting him to look. I also never really noticed that Briggs was that ripped until I went ahead and did a Google Image search on him. I mean I’ve seen him fight before but those pictures make him look pretty impressive…

Even Tyson would have been a stretch to put Stallone in the ring with. You know that Tyson would have gotten back in the gym and worked out a little to improve how he looked since the last time we saw him beating on Corey Sanders. That and he’s freakin’ Mike Tyson, Rocky would have been knocked out in the 1st round, right?

Who else could have took Tarver’s place in the movie? I know it’s another long shot but I think that Bernard Hopkins would have been interesting to see. You know, see who was the best fighter in Philadelphia, that sort of thing…

Posted by John Chandler on Jan 18, 2007 at 06:09 PM
Movies/TVRockyPersonalitiesSylvester Stallone

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