|“||No I don't hate Balboa. But I pity the fool. And I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got.||„|
|~ James "Clubber" Lang to a reporter.|
James Lang, most commonly known as simply Clubber Lang, is a major antagonist in the Rocky film series, serving as the main antagonist of the 1982 film Rocky III and a flashback antagonist in Rocky IV/V. He was a brutal boxer who challenged Rocky Balboa to take his title.
He was portrayed by Mr. T.
Clubber Lang was born and raised in the streets of Chicago. He started to box and eventually became a professional fighter. He was a very strong and skilled fighter, which quickly rose him through the ranks around the time that Rocky Balboa was defending his title as the World Heavyweight Champion.
In 1981, Lang was the number one contender and wanted to get a chance to fight Balboa and claim his title. As Rocky's manager Mickey Goldmill was aware of Lang's power and hunger, he deliberately avoided him and put Rocky against weaker fighters in order to protect him. Lang even confronted Mickey in one of his matches and told him to warn Balboa. He also started to speak in the media about wanting a shot at the title and provoking Balboa. Lang later attended Rocky's exhibition match against a wrestler named Thunderlips. Having enough of this, Lang decided to confront Balboa himself and attended a ceremony for Rocky in Philadelphia, provoking him and challenging him to a fight. In order to make him angry enough to accept the challenge, he insulted his wife An\drian by telling her to leave Rocky and come to his apartment. Despite Mickey's warnings, Rocky decided to fight Clubber who trained hard for that fight with his manager Donut.
Just before the match started, Lang was confronted by reporters in his locker room. Clubber told them to leave him alone many times, and after they refused he assaulted them throwing their cameras and microphones away. He then insulted Balboa as they were heading for the arena and even tried to attack him. When Mickey got in the way, Lang brutally shoved him aside giving him a heart attack. Moments before the match started, Lang refused to shake hands with the former champion Apollo Creed and insulted him calling him a has-been. Even though Balboa started on the offence, Lang soon gained the upper hand and brutally beat Rocky with a knockout in the second round, at last winning the title. Soon he was challenged by Balboa and his new trained Apollo Creed for a rematch. Lang insulted them both on TV and proceeded to train even harder. When the rematch started Lang insulted and assaulted both Rocky and Apollo and a brawl started on the arena. The fight didn't start well for Clubber who was confused by Balboa's new style and easily lost the first round, losing his temper. He managed to knock down Rocky twice in the second round but tired himself out by doing so. Balboa counter-attacked in the third round and knocked Lang down winning the title again. Clubber was seen sitting in his corner disappointed about his loss. it's unknown if he challenged Balboa again or what happened to him in general after this.
Even though Clubber Lang only appeared in one Rocky film, he was crucial for the whole Rocky story as he was the one mainly responsible for Mickey's death and Apollo joining forces with Rocky, which would then trigger the events of Rocky IV, Rocky V, and the Creed films. He was also a very popular character, with his quotes still being well known.
Clubber Lang was a harsh and brutal fighter who showed no respect for anyone including Rocky Balboa, Mickey, Adrian and Apollo Creed. He enjoyed insulting and assaulting people and wasn't social enough, being often bothered with reporters. He was also angry because he believed the system wanted people like him down, a reason for him being angry with Balboa for avoiding him as Balboa himself was in similar situation before Apollo choosing him to fight him. Even though his reasons might be justified his way of handling things was wrong, as unlike Rocky, he wasn't humble and tried to solve things by force. He was also a cheater, attacking opponents while they were down, psychologically attacking them before the matches etc. It said though that he changed his ways after the events of Rocky III.
- Rocky Balboa
- Apollo Creed
- Mickey Goldmill
- Tony ''Duke'' Evers
- Paulie Pennino
- Adrian Balboa