Hughes Edwards ’20
Editor’s Note: This article is the first article in the third part of a seven part series of opinion articles written by Dr. Erb’s English class for publication in The Oracle. Each article will have a “response” written by another student in the class.
Exemplifying the qualities of ones who never give in, fierce cold warriors, and iconic badboys, Rocky Balboa and James Bond sit atop thrones in the list of movie franchises that men of all ages not only adore but also work to imitate in many ways. But who would win in a fight? Being in completely different lines of work, the Italian Stallion and MI6’s 007 would have to find a playing field that could lead to the fairest of fights. Considering the Rocky movies one through four (as five and six were an embarrassment to the franchise), Balboa would require a one-on-one fight against Bond to stand any kind of chance in an agreed-upon setting. Therefore, for the sake of this argument, the theoretical fight between these fictional characters is taking place with the gloves off in a one-on-one duel set in an enclosed area. For clarification, this enclosed area is no boxing ring, as Rocky would attain a distinct advantage. Maybe a large, abandoned warehouse, or Scaramanga’s funhouse from The Man with the Golden Gun. The two would never leave each other’s sight, but there would be some room for witty use of the surroundings to benefit Bond.
When it comes to actually packing a punch, Rocky holds the advantage over Bond. With iconic montages as Rocky trains in a Russian winter cabin roughing out the blizzard-like conditions in training to defeat the steroid-user Ivan Drago, or sprinting in a foot race across a California beach against his buddy and coach Apollo, or running through the bitter Philly cold to the top of the stairs many simply brand the Rocky Steps, the Italian Stallion seems the more physically prepared for man-to-man combat over Bond. Despite rigorous years of training, Bond has not focused solely on simple hand-to-hand combat against one other man with no weapons. In the Brit’s defense, he knows how to do it as he shows against former agent 006 or in the beginning of Casino Royale on top of a construction crane. However, without an odd environment such as a flying helicopter, the edge of the top of a skyscraper, or a moving train, Bond’s physical ability is able to be matched—Rocky would with his incredible punching and dodging abilities if he could keep his opponent in front of him and no weapons were involved.
The importance of Rocky’s being able to see Bond the whole time is essential because Bond’s best quality is his wit. With the ability to defeat an enemy in outer space or the den of a Komodo dragon, 007 knows how to best use his surroundings. Bond fights many oncoming opponents at once not to subdue, but rather to escape or reach an objective. Fighting against a guy whose job it is to stand back up no matter what is thrown at him, Bond would have a tough time beating Rocky, so Balboa wins in the mental category, too, because the enclosed area of the fight would take away at least some of Bond’s ability to hide from Rocky using his wit, and Rocky’s resilience would keep him from getting knocked out—he would just keep getting up, just how he beat Creed in Rocky 2. Bond would have no bomb to diffuse or woman to save when his objective is simplified to beating one man, the heavyweight champion of the world, and his advantage in intelligence would be not enough to match Rocky’s mental toughness.
A man is judged by his enemies, and to look at the opponents in the past of Bond and Balboa, they are equally iconic: Apollo Creed, Dr. No, the Man with the Golden Gun, Clubber Lang, Goldfinger, Ivan Drago, Jaws. Back to the argument of mental prowess, the Bond villains that 007 defeats blow the Rocky opponents out of the water; however, in this one-on-one fight, how much does Rocky need to know how to play poker to beat Bond? Bond’s incredible track record at Hold ‘Em against Le Chiffre may help in Casino Royale, but not Rocky vs. Bond. However, Rocky’s defeat of the steroid-using Soviet Ivan Drago points to Rocky as a better contender than Bond could be if the two fought. For the fight with the set parameters, Rocky’s track record with his enemies once again trumps Bond’s.
Sure, the parameters set may benefit Balboa over Bond a bit. And one may try to argue for MI6’s best over a simple American fighter if the stage were espionage. But how would that work? The parameters would be too complex, and ultimately there would be no reason for Bond or Rocky to need to eliminate the other for his respective national interests. Therefore, because of his past success and advantage in the areas of physicality, mental toughness, and past overcome opponents, Rocky Balboa would defeat James Bond.
The views expressed in this article do not, in any way, represent the views of the editorial board, our faculty adviser, Mr. Guldin, nor the opinion of The Oracle as a whole.