One the most overlooked aspects of the Rocky movies is just how much of a patriot and good guy Apollo was. He was never the villain. He was alway a patriot and a warrior.
He gives a local fighter a shot, a white guy at that, because he believes in America. A smart businessman, but at his heart a noble move.
So he has a hell of a fight, gets his ego checked. Gets hatemail calling him a fraud and wants his revenge. He gets told dead in his eyes by his trainer to pass on a rematch and take the easy fights. He will have none of that. He is the world’s heavyweight champion. He isn’t backing down from no man. He gives it his all, but falls short. He does the honorable thing and gives props to his opponent, something most alpha males couldn’t do in that situation dealing with defeat.
He then befriends the white guy who beat him to help train his friend to beat a black man. Let me get this straight, American was always this rotten, racist place but we have a buddy film from 40 years ago that didn’t care about their race?
5 years retired some cheating Communist on roids challenges him, too cowardly to fight him fair. Despite being probably a decade out of his prime he accepts the fight because he is a true American patriot.
“It’s us against them, Stallion.”
He was willing to die to fight Communism. He went out on his shield like a warrior. He believed in America because it gave him the opportunity to become the man he was. Apollo Creed was the epitome of what an American should be. Probably one of the best characters in cinema history.