By: Sean Crose
The Italian Stallion himself, Rocky Balboa – or at least the guy who created and still plays Rocky Balboa, is teaming up with the DAZN streaming service for a series of documentaries focused on some of boxing’s most memorable fights. “DAZN and Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions will join forces in a global creative partnership,” a Thursday press release reads. “The first project will be the launch of a new feature documentary series called ONE NIGHT, a group of films looking back at indelible nights in recent boxing history. Additional projects and details will be announced in the coming months.”
The ONE NIGHT series will certainly pique the interest of hardcore fight fans, as well, perhaps, as non-fans. For its debut documentary, ONE NIGHT will focus on a fight from the very recent past: Joshua-Ruiz. “My Hollywood script came to life that historic June night when unknown boxer Andy Ruiz achieved a victory that shocked the world. It was the real life Rocky and the perfect story to kick off our partnership with DAZN,” Stallone says. “There is nothing like the world of Boxing…the drama, the humanity, the agony, and the ecstasy. This sport reveals the souls of these courageous warriors like no other sport can so it’s a privilege to be very involved with DAZN and their revolutionary programming.”
It’s arguably fitting that a DAZN series would start off focusing on a bout that aired on DAZN – last spring’s stunning heavyweight upset of Andy Ruiz over titlist Anthony Joshua. “For the first film in this series, we wanted to tell the definitive story of an unlikely underdog boxer achieving what few thought possible,” says DANZ’s Jamie Horowitz. “We are honored to be able to partner with Sylvester Stallone, the creator of the greatest underdog boxing story of all-time.” ONE NIGHT: JOSHUA VS. RUIZ will premiere on the streaming service November 20th, which will work to whet the appetite of fans hungry for Ruiz-Joshua 2, which will go down December 7th in Saudi Arabia.
“Everything we do at Balboa begins with great storytelling that is deeply rooted in the human condition and there’s nothing quite like boxing that captures that,” Kourosh Ta of Balboa Productions, states. “What is so exciting about our partnership with DAZN is that it enables us to collaborate with smart, like-minded creatives and share these amazing stories with their dedicated viewers; and our first project together, ONE NIGHT, is the perfect story to help fulfill Balboa’s mission of giving a voice to all underdogs.”
Stallone himself was essentially a character actor who blasted onto the scene with 1976’s Rocky, a stunning movie about a down and out fighter given a shot at the heavyweight title – and, more importantly, personal redemption. The flick was a smash hit and became an instant classic, a film so popular that sequels, like the acclaimed and popular Creed, are still being made, and are still making good money at the box office.