Rocky II (1979) Ending Explained – Does Apollo Creed defeat Rocky?

Rocky II

Rocky II Plot Synopsis

After his phenomenal boxing performance, Rocky Balboa earned celebrity status. As he enjoys his new lifestyle, the embarrassed champ, Apollo Creed tries to goad him out of retirement in order to prove Rocky’s performance was nothing more than a fluke. Focused on his personal life, Rocky is unaffected. But, financial problems soon force him back into the ring. 

What happens after the championship fight?

According to Creed, a victory by split decision is nothing short of a defeat for him, given his glittery career. Creed challenges Rocky to a rematch in a bid to clear any doubts people might have about his abilities.

Much to his chagrin, Rocky retires from professional boxing. Doctors later reveal that Rocky has a condition that could lead to permanent blindness if he continues boxing. Rocky has his girlfriend, Adrian, for support through this period.

Rocky II

Rocky’s doubts regarding the match

Despite retiring, Rocky is bugged by the thoughts that Apollo probably didn’t give his best in the match. Consequently, he goes to see Creed asking whether he put his all during the contest. Once Creed confirms he did, Rocky is relieved. Soon after, Rocky is released from hospital into a world that has entirely changed for him.

He has become a celebrity. Even though he lost, people consider him the true champ (something that Creed wants to see changed).

With money and fame on his side, Rocky proposes to Adrian. She accepts, and they marry in a low-key ceremony. Later, Adrian reveals she is pregnant with their first child. 

Creed’s desperation for a rematch

Once out of the hospital, Creed starts off a wild campaign to get Rocky to accept his challenge. Apollo’s consultants warn him that a second match with Rocky might further damage his reputation given his indomitable defence abilities.

Rocky doesn’t pay heed to Creed. However, once financial issues begin to affect his family, he considers the option of fighting again despite health concerns. 

Adrian doesn’t stand with him on his decision. But Rocky insists that boxing is the only way he can provide for his family. Consequently, he accepts Creed’s challenge.

Rocky II

Steering through family problems

Rocky kicks off the training with his trainer, Mickey Goodwill, despite Adrian’s disapproval. Knowing Rocky won’t be able to deliver his best without Adrian’s support, Rocky’s best friend, Paulie, talks with Adrian. Adrian faints during the argument and is taken to a hospital where she gives birth to a healthy baby boy. However, she herself falls into a coma.

Rocky is heartbroken holding himself responsible for Adrian’s condition. Rocky stays with Adrian the entire time, and when she finally comes out of her coma, the couple embrace their baby, whom they name Robert Rocky Jr. Strengthened by loving emotions, Adrian offers her support to Rocky. Fired up, the man starts his training in full swing. 

Does Apollo Creed defeat Rocky?

Before the fight, Creed makes a cocky statement that he will finish Rocky in the first two rounds. In order to protect his vulnerable eye, Rocky fights with a stance that he is not trained in. Creed exploits Rocky’s vulnerability and gets well ahead of him in terms of points. That said, Creed once again fails to get Rocky on the ropes and the match reaches its fifteenth and last round. 

All Creed needs to do is not be knocked out to grab the victory. Afraid such a victory will once again damage his fighting reputation, Creed tries to knock out Rocky against the advice of his team.

Just when he needed to, Rocky switches his stance to southpaw and unleashes a barrage of punches to knock Creed down. However, Rocky also falls over at the same time due to exhaustion. The countdown begins and the combatants try to get back on their feet. At the count of 9, Rocky manages to get up while Creed collapses. As a result, Rocky is announced the winner by knockout. Post fight, the new champion delivers a heartwarming message.

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