Italian Stallion meets Marine pugilists
By Lance Cpl. Ray Lewis
| Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | December 15, 2005
LAS VEGAS --
Camp Pendleton boxing coach Anthony J. Gonzales found a knockout way to motivate his Marine boxers Dec. 6.
He took his team and other Marines here to Mandalay Bay to see actor Sylvester Stallone slug it out during the filming of upcoming boxing movie ‘Rocky VI.’
The Marines were there for the entertainment and served as extras in the film.
“My boxers will have an extra spark,” Gonzalez said. “By being in the film, they will have the motivation to show their skills, talent and techniques in a competitive bout.”
Gonzalez thanked retired Sgt. Maj. Chris Crawford with Camp Pendleton Varsity Sports for supporting his boxers and Marines to participate in the film making of ‘Rocky VI.’
Some Marines at the filming just returned from deployment.
“It was really exciting going to Iraq but also exciting to be here,” said boxing supporter Gunnery Sgt. Alfredo C. Rosas, 11th Marine Regiment.
The Marines sat in the audience as extras and chanted for Rocky Balboa during the filming of the fight. Some Marines were ringside extras during one of the movie’s pinnacle moments.
The Marines got one-on-one time with the cast members in between takes.
“I’m proud of the Marine Corps traditions you guys are a part of,” said actor Burt Young, a former Marine who plays the character ‘Paulie’ in the movie. “You’ll never have that type of brotherhood anywhere else.”
After the filming, Sylvester Stallone invited the Marines from the bleachers to the ring for a face-to-face ‘thank you.’
“It’s good to see Sly and be a part of history while representing the Marine Corps,” said boxing team captain Steven Moraldo adding, “It’s always good to get away from the base.”
Gonzales said Marines would be motivated to see fellow Marines in the film when it debuts, and the film would benefit his boxers.
Gonzales also said the film would also benefit the Marine Corps.
“It will help recruiting process by showing the Marine Corps in a positive light,” Gonzalez said.
“It feels good seeing Marines doing other things other than fighting wars,” Moraldo said. “This is something that Marines will look for in the future.”
‘Rocky VI’ is scheduled to premiere Feb. 9, 2007.
However, Gonzales said people might see his boxers much sooner, sparring with top professional boxers for the experience and ring savvy commonly seen in Las Vegas boxers.