Watch: 'Creed 2' Was Going To Feature Another Rocky Vs. Drago Fight

When Sylvester Stallone brought his famous cinematic boxer back to the ring in 2006's Rocky Balboa, it was pretty unbelievable that a 60-year-old could hold his own against a pro fighter decades younger than him. That was thirteen years ago.

In 2018's Creed II, Rocky was originally set to brawl yet again – this time in a street-level fight against his old rival Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). The rematch between Balboa and Drago ended up being cut from the final movie, but you can get a glimpse at what it might have been like below, because Stallone has posted some rehearsal footage and explained the context for the scene.

Spoilers for Creed 2 follow.

Creed 2 Deleted Scenes Fight

In Creed II, just like in Rocky III before it, the protagonist is soundly defeated in the first fight against the primary villain. Of course, he eventually comes roaring back in a climactic second fight late in the movie, but before he can overcome adversity, the hero has to learn about himself, find the inner strength to persevere, and experience a hell of a lot of montages.

During that recovery time in Creed II, while Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed was still hurting after a beating at the hands of Ivan Drago's son (Florian Munteanu), Stallone explains that the two Dragos would have shown up at the hospital with a film crew to gloat and taunt Adonis in his hospital bed (which frankly seems a little extreme on its own, even for the movie's villains). But Rocky steps in to stop them, and a brawl ensues.

Despite Stallone's passionate tone in his caption, it looks to me as if director Steven Caple, Jr. made the correct choice to leave this out of the movie. I can understand why Stallone (a co-writer of this film) would be tempted to give himself a big moment to shine like this: he's spent a good portion of his life playing this character, and it's only natural to want to prove to the world that he's still capable. But as established in 2015's Creed, Rocky is a 70-plus-year-old cancer survivor. Come on.

Plus, this fight would have overshadowed the big Balboa vs. Drago moment that happened earlier in Adrian's restaurant, when the two sit opposite each other at the table and the threat of menace hangs in the air. Rocky and Ivan are experiencing a rematch through the vessels of these younger fighters, and renewing their rivalry in a physical way would have robbed the previous moment of its power.

Creed II arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2019. You can read our original review and our spoiler review if you haven't yet.