In anticipation of Southpaw, we had the former heavyweight champ rate other actors who have played boxers.
Dan Slater and Men's Fitness Editors 1 / 4
It's no wonder we love boxing movies. From On the Waterfront to Raging Bull, the blood-sweat-and-tears flicks are among the greatest accomplishments in cinematic history. (Plus, nowadays, they're cheaper than paying to watch the real thing.)That's why we're stoked for the premiere of Southpaw. Featuring an utterly ripped Jake Gyllenhaal as down-and-out heavyweight Billy Hope (and written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter), the gritty everyman tale is a worthy homage to classic boxing films.To celebrate the classics, we asked a true judge of boxing talent, former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, what he thinks of cinema's most iconic wannabe "boxers." And he's got some tough love for Rocky Balboa.Southpaw: A Fight Worth Paying For >>>
An 'A' for Effort
Will Smith in Ali (2001): Holyfield says no actor has given a truly great boxing performance but that Smith’s turn as Ali was admirable. “Ali is hard to do. The shadowboxing, the footwork—it was ballet. Will Smith is a great actor, but it’s like asking someone to paint a Rembrandt.”
Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter (2010): Holyfield says the brother, played by Christian Bale, resonated with him more than Wahlberg’s character. “I had an older brother who followed me around, and at fights he’d yell, ‘Ain’t nobody going to beat my brother!’”
Sylvester Stallone in Rocky (1976): Yes, the greatest boxing movie ever features its worst boxing performance. “It’s very choreographed—always punching and stumbling and bouncing off ropes. In reality you’ve got to make adjustments for different individuals.” The Fittest Old Celebrities >>>