Upon reviewing the local boxers in Philadelphia, Creed is drawn to a club fighter named Rocky Balboa because Balboa is Italian and has a catchy nickname, "The Italian Stallion". Creed also explains his choice by saying: "Who discovered America? An Italian, right? What better way to celebrate its 200th birthday than to get it on with one of his descendants?" Creed brushes off the idea of the left-handed Balboa giving him a fight, pledging to knock him out in three rounds. In spite of his trainer's concern when he sees Balboa in a television interview, training by punching sides of beef in a meat-packing plant, Creed puts more effort into giving everyone a good show rather than training for the bout. When the match takes place, Creed dresses up like both George Washington and Uncle Sam in the pre-fight festivities (with his matching trademark "stars and stripes" boxing shorts) and is in a jovial mood until Balboa knocks him down in the first round with a single uppercut, the first time Creed has been knocked down in his career. He then endures a gruelling 15-round fight with Balboa, who gets to his feet after Creed takes him down with an uppercut in the 14th round in what appears to be the end of the match. This was the first time anyone had ever taken the champion the full 15 rounds.
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