Manuel Vega is a minor antagonist in the 1985 film Rocky IV. He is a Soviet coach who serves as one of the trainers (alongside Sergei Rimsky) for Ivan Drago. There is a possibility that he is of mixed Russian and African-American descent. Given his surname, there is also a possibility that he might also be part Iberian or might be an Afro-Latino.
He was portrayed by the late James "Cannonball" Green.
Vega first appeared arriving in America with Drago and his wife Ludmilla, along with Rimsky and their manager Nicolai Koloff, as Drago intends to fight Rocky Balboa in an exhibition match to prove that Soviet boxers are superior in combat than that of Americans. To that end, Vega and Rimsky help out in providing the statistics through machinery to emphasize Drago's strength to the public.
However, former champion Apollo Creed decides to come out from retirement to fill in for Rocky as he wants to refute Drago's intentions to the world. During an exhibition match between Creed and Apollo at Las Vegas, Vega, and Rimsky direct Drago to fight dirty. This allows Drago to finally punch down Creed in one fatal punch, much to the horror of Rocky and the American public, even Drago himself shows no remorse on this by saying "If he dies... he dies."
With the American public outraged by Creed's death, Drago gets jeered for causing this, but Koloff defends Drago by accusing the public to make the world believe that the Soviets are cruel in nature. Eventually, a furious Rocky decides to take action by challenging Drago to fight in Russia at Christmas, to which the Soviets accepted. As such, Vega and Rimsky help Drago in training out for the match, even injecting a few steroids on him.
During the match, Drago seemed to gain the upper hand, but Rocky finally turns the table, earning the respect of the Soviet audience. At the final round of the match, Rocky was able to avenge Creed's death by defeating Drago with a knockout punch, thus winning the challenge. Upon seeing this, both Vega and Rimsky became very upset over Drago's defeat.