Stallone’s Rocky Prequel Can Honor The Original Balboa & Creed Inspirations

The premise of the 
Rocky prequel will allow the series to show better reverence for the real-life fighters who originally inspired the franchise’s stories and characters. The 
Rocky franchise began in 1976, and over the span of eight movies (with a ninth on the way) it has explored the rise and retirement of Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone. With the actor reportedly not returning for the spinoff sequel 
Creed III, it would seem that Rocky’s part in the franchise is done. However, Stallone’s
Rocky prequel series idea could offer a better examination of the character’s roots as a young fighter.,Rocky Balboa is thought to be loosely inspired by real heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier, with Rocky’s rival-turned-best-friend, Apollo Creed, based heavily on both Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton. Additionally, the plot of 
Rocky was inspired by the 1975 fight between Ali and Chuck Wepner, a lesser-known fighter who shocked the world by almost taking Ali the full 15-round distance. The many real-life inspirations behind the 
Rocky franchise’s most iconic characters are what lent the earlier 
Rocky movies a sense of authenticity, something which the franchise later moved away from in the 1980s with 
Rocky III and 
Rocky IV.,Related: Every Rocky Character Who Can Return In Stallone’s Prequel Show,Rocky‘s real-life inspirations could play a part in Stallone’s prequel series, should it materialize. As Stallone’s pitch for the show would follow a young Rocky Balboa during the 1960s as he finds himself in his pursuits as a boxer, it leaves the door open for the appearance of real-life figures who inspired the franchise’s most recognizable characters. By including small nods to the fighters who inspired the
Rocky franchise, the prequel series could properly honor the real boxers who lent aspects of their personalities and careers to the likes of Rocky and Apollo.,The 1960s-set prequel series would provide plenty of opportunities to see the Italian Stallion interacting with some of 
Rocky‘s real-life fighter inspirations. Both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were establishing themselves as boxing stars at the time, and Wepner turned professional in 1964, which would make him another viable character to appear. In addition, one of the other inspirations for Rocky Balboa was Rocky Marciano, who could also feasibly make an appearance within the show’s timeline.,Of course, due to the 60 years between the prequel series’ setting and the present day, almost all of the 
Rocky inspirations who were active in that time have since passed on — of the mentioned fighters, only Wepner is still alive — meaning that cameo appearances from the real figures would prove an impossibility. However, having a young Rocky meet, train with, or watch fighters like Ali, Norton, Frazier, or Wepner would be a subtle but touching homage to the true stories that inspired 
Rocky. Having Rocky literally model himself on the likes of Wepner and Frazier, perhaps also with a young up-and-coming Apollo learning from the likes of Ali and Norton, would be an excellent way to properly honor the franchise’s origins.,If Stallone’s 
Rocky prequel series gets made, including fighters like Ali and Frazier in its story would be an interesting way of linking it to the real-life inspirations behind the franchise. As Frazier and Ali are referenced within the existing films — Frazier even made a small cameo in the first 
Rocky — it’s confirmed that they are real figures within 
Rocky‘s world, making it all the more possible. As the inspirations behind Apollo Creed and Rocky Balboa were real-life fighters active in the 1960s, using that decade as the setting for a 
Rocky prequel series could possibly see the franchise’s characters meeting their own real-life counterparts.,Next: Stallone’s Rocky Prequel Could Finally Make Balboa’s Motto Important Again