Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T, proved to be one of Rocky Balboa’s most fearsome foes. Here’s a look at his fight record and life after Rocky 3.
Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T, proved to be one of Rocky Balboa’s most fearsome foes, and here’s a look at his fight record and life after Rocky 3. Rocky’s most famous opponent from his franchise is no doubt Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), the world champion who Rocky went the distance with in the first movie, then managed to knock off to win the title in Rocky 2, albeit narrowly. Rocky would of course go on to develop a friendship with Apollo in Rocky 3.
Rocky needed Apollo to combat Clubber Lang, who soundly demolished The Italian Stallion in their first fight, as being a champion had made Rocky complacent and cocky, as well as out of the fighting shape needed to beat someone like Clubber. Born James Lang, and nicknamed The Southside Slugger, Clubber was a powerhouse fully capable of beating an opponent into unconsciousness in fairly short order, and in some ways seemed to foreshadow future real-life punishing pugilist Mike Tyson.
Clubber may well hold the title of most dominating antagonist in the Rocky franchise, were it not for Rocky 4‘s infamous Russian nightmare Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who literally killed Apollo in the ring. Still, Rocky did eventually topple Clubber with Apollo’s help, although there would be no mutual respect turned friendship with this opponent, as Clubber would completely disappear from the franchise.
Clubber Lang has an absolutely sterling boxing record, as according to the Rocky films, he sports a record of 29 fights, 28 of those being wins, with the one loss coming to Rocky himself. Due to him disappearing from the franchise after the end of Rocky 3, it’s unclear if he continued his boxing career following Rocky wresting away his world championship, or just decided to retire in shame. At one point, Sylvester Stallone wanted Mr. T to cameo as Clubber in 2006’s Rocky Balboa, but the two sides couldn’t come to terms on money.
According to Stallone himself, who wrote Rocky 3 and thus created Clubber, the former champ became a born-again Christian in his post-boxing life, and had designs on becoming an evangelist. His planned cameo in Rocky Balboa would’ve seen him doing his current job, that of boxing analyst for TV, as he would’ve helped call Rocky’s big return fight. Turning to commentary after retirement mirrors George Foreman, another bruising boxer who was a likely inspiration for Clubber’s style. It would’ve been interesting to see Mr. T reprise his role as a now older version of Clubber Lang, and there’s a small chance it could still happen, as Creed 3 looks set to have Adonis Creed take on Clubber’s son.
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