Sylvester Stallone Talks 'Grudge Match,' Is 'Enamored' With Boxing

Todd Rigney

There's a very good reason why Sylvester Stallone stepped into the boxing ring one more time for Grudge Match. According to the actor, he's simply enamored with the sport.

Although Stallone has spent a fair amount of time in the ring while filming the Rocky flicks, the actor said he's really not that great of a boxer. However, this hasn't dampened the guy's fascination with the sport one single bit.

Sylvester Stallone told the Telegraph that his obsession with boxing began at a very young age. While Grudge Match co-star took a shine to the sport after seeing Jake La Motta as a kid, Stallone's experience with professional fisticuffs began in the schoolyard.

"Mine was dramatic, traumatic. The bully came after me at school and I had a go at him, and pop, pop, I enjoyed it. Then I was the bully until some bullied me. I'm not overly-gifted. But I just understand the mechanics and science of it. I'm enamored of it," the actor told the publication.

In order to get back in shape to play a boxer in the recent comedy, Sylvester Stallone said that he had to hit the gym. While you'd think the guy is already used to working out for the roles he plays on the big screen, the actor admitted that preparing for Grudge Match was particularly grueling.

"I've always enjoyed working out, but this thing was pretty extraordinary. We got to prove that you don't have to be crawling around at a certain age, or that you're obliged to start winding down," he explained to the Waynesboro Record Herald.

Stallone admitted that he was very concerned about Robert De Niro getting in shape for his role as Billy "The Kid" McDonnen in Segal's flick. However, Sylvester explained that he was pleasantly surprised by the actor's dedication to preparing for the movie.

He explained:

"We couldn't get together, so by the time we finally got in the ring together, I was thinking, 'Oh, God, I hope he looks good, I hope he can punch.' With the 'Rocky' films it was five or six months of preparation, with the [other] guy, and you're working every day. But we didn't have that opportunity, so I have to give Bob a little credit for his professionalism."

Unfortunately, Grudge Match failed to find an audience in the US when it arrived on the big screen last month. According to Box Office Mojo, Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro's $40 million comedy has only scraped together $27 million from moviegoers as of this writing.