Sylvester Stallone once declined to star in the film “Rocky” alongside Mike Tyson
Actor Sylvester Stallone did not want to become a rival of Mike Tyson in the film “Rocky” due to concerns for his own safety.
Stallone is known for his iconic boxing film series, “Rocky,” which has garnered a lot of love from fans. Portraying the main character, boxer Rocky Balboa, Stallone has often stepped into the ring with opponents who were bigger and stronger, including Dolph Lundgren.
Therefore, heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson expressed his interest in playing a villainous role in the film to have a showdown with the seasoned actor in the ring. However, when Stallone learned of this, he immediately declined the offer.
“Rocky VI” (2006) was released 16 years after “Rocky V,” and the previous installment had not made a significant impression on the audience. As the representative character of the film series, Stallone wanted to bring about a special change to attract viewers. However, when Tyson made the proposal, the 76-year-old director and actor didn’t dare to accept.
Stallone shared with Contact Music (via Boxing Scene): “Mike wanted to fight me in this movie, but I thought it was a terrible idea. I know I’m not young anymore, but I’m still too young to d.i.e.”
“So, I said, ‘Thank you, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Anyway, thank you very much.’ But he kept calling the office and saying he wanted to fight me in the movie.”
Stallone didn’t want to have a showdown with Tyson, even just in a film.
In the end, Stallone had to compromise by offering Tyson a different role. The actor, born in 1946, added: “Finally, I had to be sympathetic and say, ‘You can be a spectator on the set.’ After that, I didn’t hear anything more about Mike.”
“But suddenly, when I was in the ring, he appeared next to me. I had to turn back and tell my people, ‘You have to make sure to keep this guy outside. If he steps into the ring, he will k.i.l.l me. He’s an assassin,'” Stallone recounted.