From the depths of obscurity, Rocky Balboa has risen to
unprecedented fame. His picture graces the covers of Sports
Illustrated and Newsweek. He takes up acting and appears in
numerous commercials. He shows up at a benefit and grapples with
the colossal wrestling champ, Thunderlips. Now the reigning
heavyweight boxing champion of the world, financially secure and the idol of millions, Rocky only needs to fight to keep his competitive edge. Yet, the doubts and questions remain: Will success spoil Rocky? Has Rocky lost his desire to be great?
At a ceremony in his honor, Rocky is celebrated with a bronze statue on the steps of city hall. The champ thanks the crowd and begins a unexpected retirement speech, but is interrupted by the fierce #1 contender, Clubber Lang. Lang calls Rocky a coward and a bum, and even insults Adrian as out breaks a fiasco. Mickey tells Clubber "there aint gonna be no fight."
Later, Mick explains to Rocky how he has protected .the champ by fighting less-than-the-best challengers, and Rocky is both stunned and disappointed. Yet the champ tells Mick he wants a piece of Clubber, but Mick has seen the contender in action. "Hell kill ya inside of three rounds!," says Mick. Still, Rocky persists until Mick reluctantly agrees to one more bout.
With all the distractions of stardom, the training becomesa mockery.When the night of the fight arrives, all hell breaks loose. A confrontation with Clubber just before the match leaves Mickey clutching his chest in pain, and Rocky without a man in his corner. The fight, as Mickey feared, lasts only two rounds, with Rocky receiving the worst beating of his life and losing the crown.
Afterwards, Rocky is back in the dressing room talking to his faithful mentor, but Mick has fought his last battle. "I love ya, kid," he tells Rocky, and goes to that great squared circle in the sky. Rocky is lost and dejected, until a few weeks later, when Apollo Creed poses a game plan. "You gotta get that eye of the tiger back," he tells Rock. After much contemplation, Rocky follows his heart. With Apollo training him, Rocky gains the speed he never had, and the hunger he had lost.
Rocky has never been as determined as he is during his re-match to Clubber. Using an unorthodox strategy, he covers up and allows Clubber to punch him as hard as he possibly can, gradually wearing down the strength of the champion. Suddenly, he uses his new-found quickness to jolt the champ, throttling him with a flurry of ferocious punches. Its over! Rocky has overcome the odds to once again become champion of the world!