888sport look at six of the best ever boxing films – which movie is top of your list?
Sport and the cinema go hand in hand. With many films incorporating some of the biggest sporting events on the planet, there are plenty of movies for sports fanatics to choose from. Boxing in particular has a close relationship with the film industry, with movies from as far back as 1894 showing a bout – and that bond has flourished throughout history.
With so many boxing films to choose from, narrowing these picks down was no easy feat. But here it goes, our list of the greatest boxing movies of all-time…
Easily the most famous boxing film of all-time, Rocky follows a local struggling boxer who is handed an incredible chance to fight for the world heavyweight championship. Written off from start to finish, Rocky is a true sporting underdog story and we see Sylvester Stallone begin an intense training regime in a bid to topple the great Apollo Creed.
That Rocky film inspired people to get active – and that famous soundtrack is recognisable across the globe. With a statue of Rocky Balboa erected near the famous “Rocky Steps” in Philadelphia, it has a unique place in the heart of the city.
Raging Bull (1980)
Arguably the greatest sport film of all-time, Raging Bull is as much a tale of masculinity and the male form as it is about boxing.
Essentially, the story follows a professional boxer who destroys the relationship between himself and his family – director Martin Scorsese was not afraid to touch on some sensitive issues here and the movie was rewarded with two Oscars. Throughout the movie the boxing content is exhilarating. With a focus on the psychological state of main character Jake LaMotta, you feel like you are taken on his journey from start to finish. An absolute must watch for any boxing fan.
When We Were Kings (1996)
Okay, so technically this is a documentary and not a movie but When We Were Kings is still deserving of a spot on our list – such was the impact and influence of the film.
The documentary follows Muhammad Ali ahead of that famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ fight with George Foreman in 1974. That bout will be remembered as one of the biggest boxing matches of the era. Ali was always much more than an athlete – he was an activist. He campaigned for change in the world and he will go down as one of sport’s biggest influencers. When We Were Kings offers viewers a unique insight into Ali’s world.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
A cult classic. Clint Eastwood stars as a trainer who owns an old boxing gym in Los Angeles though his life changes drastically after crossing paths with a female who wants to pursue a professional boxing career. After much discussion, he agrees to train her and they embark on a successful boxing journey that opens up a chance at the WBA title.
The movie then takes a turn to the dark side in the final stages when the pressure cranks up a notch – but that only adds to the intense drama. Even if you’re not necessarily the biggest boxing fan around, Million Dollar Baby is a really exciting watch.
Rocky Balboa (2006)
Rocky’s dramatic comeback in 2006 sent shockwaves across the boxing world. Well into his 50s, Rocky leaves his quiet life behind as he returns to the gym after a computer simulation showing the former champion fighting current title holder Mason Dixon. There is a steely determination about Rocky’s journey back into the spotlight and, inspired by tragedy, he gets himself into shape. The fight itself is a whirlwind affair and there is lots of blood, sweat and tears throughout.
You’d have got good boxing odds on Rocky coming back and beating Dixon in 888sport’s betting markets – but could he do it? Watch the film and find out!
The tale of a hero. Rocky Balboa returned to our movie screens to train Adonis Johnson, the son of late friend and former rival Apollo Creed. With history relating directly back to the original Rocky movies, Creed is an absolute must watch for boxing fans of all eras. Sylvester Stallone is at his brutal best throughout, pushing Johnson to his limits ahead of the fight but there is a lot going on away from the ring. Viewers go on an emotional journey and this movie is about so much more than boxing.
One of the better modern boxing movies, Creed has plenty of sport content and appeals to boxing followers of all ages.