On December 3, Sylvester Stallone returned to Philadelphia to celebrate the city’s first-ever Rocky Day. It was a special moment, nearly 50 years after the boxing movie’s release in 1976, and made all the more special by a young fan who joined Stallone to play out an iconic scene.
Stallone gathered with locals at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, delivering a speech from the same location Balboa famously sprinted up in Rocky (which happens to be in our ‘how to run, according to the movies‘ guide). He commemorated the sports movies‘ legacy and praised the residents of Philadelphia as the true heroes.
Nine-year-old fan Ro Knight was inspired, as he stood with the actor and word-for-word recounted the memorable “It ain’t about how hard you hit,” speech from 2006’s Rocky Balboa.
Nine-year-old fan Ro Knight delivered a famous Rocky Balboa speech while meeting Sylvester Stallone today in Philadelphia… pic.twitter.com/KFzdhHXJ0e
— Mike Gavin (@MikeGavin7) December 4, 2023
It was a super sweet moment, and Stallone looks over the moon. While the film it’s from might not be the best of the Rocky movies, young Knight clearly enjoyed it. We’re sure that means the world, not only to Stallone but to the cast and crew who worked hard across the series.
You can watch the original scene below. We’re impressed by Knight’s memory — maybe we should be looking out for him raising a championship belt in a boxing movie 15 years or so from now.
The city’s people were crucial in inspiring the character’s grit, which Stallone celebrated in his speech, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart — and Rocky’s, too, because we’re very close — to all of you, who believe it or not are the real-life Rockys, because you live your life on your own terms, you try to do the best you can, and you keep punching,” he said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“It came along at a time when politics were changing and people were looking for more positivity, and I just happened to fall into it,” he added.
Rocky is nothing if not motivational, and his determination and can-do attitude are core tenets from the first movie to his appearance in Creed. You can listen to Stallone’s full speech below.