Whether you’re a martial arts fan or not, have you ever watched a fight on TV and felt like your blood was running? Boxing is a grueling sport where the body is constantly being beaten.
But that is not what boxing is really about.
In reality, boxing is a way of surviving. Some people enter this sport out of pure interest and passion while other are compelled to do so. One thing is for sure, boxers put their lives and their lives on the line to win.
So, if you also love boxing movies, you’re at the right place. Here, we’ll introduce you to some recommended movies about boxing.
There are a variety of boxing movies, including some that depict the lives of real boxers and others that feature popular characters. None of these movies are rated from best to worst; we simply want you to enjoy all these movies without comparing.
Hands of Stone (2016)
A biographical film that follows the life of world champion Roberto Duran, born in the slums of Panama. This movie revolves around on his bond with Ray Arcel, the trainer who raised him. You will see Edgar Ramirez as Duran and Robert De Niro as Arcel.
Roberto Duran, a boxer who grew up in the slums of Panama, made his professional debut at the age of 16 and went on to win consecutive fights to become world champion with American trainer Ray Arcel, finally winning the title in 1980 when he challenged Sugar Ray Leonard.
The film tells the true story of the “No Mass” incident that occurred in the 1980 rematch with Leonard. Duran’s almost abandoned 8th round TKO loss has been the talk of the town for boxing fans, and it’s a testament to the unknown anguish of the “stone fist” Duran has been hailed as.
The Fighter (2010)
This movie is a biopic of a real-life boxer, directed by David O. Russell (Three Kings). Mark Wahlberg plays Irish-American boxer Mickey Ward and Christian Bale plays his half-brother, Dickie Eklund.
Brothers Dickie and Mickey are seen boxing in Lowell, Mass. At a certain pint along the movie, you can see Dickie’s disappointment at losing the match. This leads to his talent being crushed by drugs and he even ended up in jail.
Mickey, who was left behind, begins to emerge with a new trainer…
Dickey was such a gifted boxer that he even took a downing from Sugar Ray Leonard, one of the legends of the golden middleweight era. Christian Bale brilliantly embodied his downfall and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sugar Ray Leonard is making a guest appearance as himself.
This is a great human drama directed by Antwan Fuqua (Training Day) and starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The film tells the story of boxing’s one-time world champion boxer Billy Hope’s fight for a comeback.
Billy “The Great” Hope is the light heavyweight champion of the world with his selfless fighting style. However, his short-tempered nature took its toll, causing a huge brawl that resulted in the death of his wife. When he is separated from his daughter and stripped of his boxer’s license, he finds himself at the bottom of a lost cause. Still trying to get his life back on track, he visits his trainer, Tick.
Jake Gyllenhaal spent six months training to get into boxer shape for his role. The film is based on Eminem’s real-life experience, with Eminem serving as producer of the soundtrack and providing the theme song, “Phenomenal.
Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay and starred in this successful film that embodied the American dream. It’s the story of the indomitable fight of Rocky, a third-rate boxer in Philadelphia.
Living in a poor neighborhood in Philadelphia, Rocky is a fourth-round boxer who can’t live on boxing alone and lives on a day-to-day basis collecting debts. But suddenly, world champion Apollo Creed is named as his opponent out of a whim.
You can’t help but root for Rocky as he uses the training methods he’s developed to take on Apollo, even if they’re absolutely incompetent, and you can’t help but root for him as he continues to shout his girlfriend Adrian’s name at the end of the fight, knowing that if he can stay in the ring after 15 rounds he can prove he’s not a third-rate boxer.
This is the first film in the “Rocky” spin-off series that catapulted Sylvester Stallone to stardom. It’s a new story featuring Adonis, son of Apollo Creed, Rocky’s lifelong rival and best friend, as the main character.
Like his father, Apollo, a former world champion who died before he was born, and his father, Adonis, who wanted to become a boxer. After learning of Rocky’s existence in the past video, he went to Philadelphia and asked Rocky to study with him.
Michael B. Jordan, known for his role as Killmonger in Black Panther, played the role of Adonis, a boxing champion who has inherited his father’s blood and fighting spirit. Sylvester Stallone, who played a supporting role in the film, earned his first Academy Award nomination since “Rocky”.
Raging Bull (1980)
Based on the autobiography of 1940s middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, this biographical film, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, was adapted for the screen. Ramotta’s tumultuous life as a retired comedian is deliberately depicted in black-and-white images.
Undefeated since his debut, LaMotta went on to defeat causal opponent Sugar Ray Robinson. However, his suspicions of his wife Vicky and his relationship with the organization that is setting up the game are slowly bringing him to ruin.
Jake LaMotta, dubbed “Raging Bull” and boasting tremendous stamina. In order to faithfully recreate Ramotta when he was active and when he retired, Robert De Niro put on 27 kilograms more for the role and even coined the term “De Niro Approach”.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Clint Eastwood directed, produced and starred in this Academy Award-winning film with Hilary Swank as the lead female boxer Maggie. The film is about the bond and love between a lonely female boxer and her trainer.
Maggie came out of the rural Midwest and visited a boxing gym in Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a boxer. The gym’s owner, Frankie, also finds himself in a lonely situation, and although he initially turns down Maggie’s offer to join, he is inspired by her enthusiasm.
It’s a success story about a hungry female boxer with a hunger for family love who grabs success, but it’s also a problematic film with a controversial theme at its conclusion. Hilary Swank spent three months training at Hector Roca’s gym, which has produced many world champions, in order to play the role of Maggie.
Cinderella Man (2005)
Directed by Ron Howard (Beautiful Mind) and starring Russell Crowe, this human drama tells the success story of Irish-American boxer Jim Braddock.
America during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Jim, who had retired from the boxing world due to injury and had become a longshoreman, was struggling to make ends meet. Then, with only one chance to fight, he goes to the ring again for his loved ones.
Jim Braddock rose up out of poverty and gave people courage and hope at a time when no one knew what the future would hold in the Great Depression. He was eventually dubbed the “Cinderella Man” and won the heavyweight world title with a huge upset in a 1935 bout with Max Bear, who was said to be at an absolute disadvantage.
The Champ (1979)
Italian director Franco Zeffirelli’s remake of the 1931 film of the same name is a boxing film about the bond between parent and child. Jon Voight played the main character, Billy Flynn, and Faye Dunaway played his wife, Annie.
Billy Flynn, who had succeeded as a boxer to become a world champion, was now depressed and indulging in booze and gambling. His wife Annie has run away and he lives alone with their 8-year-old son T.J. Even so, T.J. was the only one who looked up to his father, calling him “Champ” and believing that one day he would become a champion again.
A man who once reached the pinnacle of the professional boxing world rises up again for a son who believes in him and shows one last fighting spirit as a father that makes your eyes burn with thought. Ricky Schroeder, who played his son T.J., won a Golden Globe Award for Best New Actor for his performance in the film.
Boxing-themed films existed as far back as Chaplin’s work, depicting the heated struggles of boxers with a “hungry spirit” in every era. Fist to fist is like a clash of souls!
From the films presented here, you can learn about the epic lives and passionate dramas of the boxers who have inherited their souls in equal measure. You might even be able to touch their hunger and wake up to their fighting spirit.