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Creed 2: Ending Explanation

The finale of Creed 2 is one of the most poignant in the Rocky trilogy. The film is plainly a spinoff to Creed (2015), but it is also a quasi-sequel/remake of 1985’s Rocky IV and, in some senses, 2006’s Rocky Balboa. And it rises to the occasion, offering the finest of the Rocky series as well as a surprising progression of both main characters.

Creed 2 picks up with Adonis Creed as a superstar boxer and quickly sees him capture the Heavyweight Champ of the World title. Viktor Drago, son of Ivan Drago, who killed Apollo Creed in the ring and was ultimately defeated by Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, is the film’s actual challenge. Creed almost loses his title bout against the human tank, only to be spared by Drago’s suspension, but returns for a vengeance battle after a time of self-doubt.

However, much more than the predictable boxing film with a dash of vengeance that its story summary suggests, Creed 2 is a film about dads, sons, justice, and, most importantly, legacy. Here’s what occurs in Creed 2’s finale, what the huge disclosures imply, and also what the franchise may be up to next. It continues many complicated ideas from the past seven movies in the franchise while standing solidly by itself.

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Creed 2: How Beats Viktor Drago Beaten by Adonis Creed

The battle among Adonis Creed and Viktor Drago at the conclusion of Creed 2 is both psychologically and physically terrible. Creed’s strategy is to finish the battle via knock-down – hitting the opponent to the ground and then failing to get back up after ten seconds – but Drago, although content with a knockdown, is plainly aiming for a knockout.

Adonis starts well, but is quickly pushed back by Viktor in the second round. Power shifts back and forth during the battle; Adonis is knocked down many times, only to be resurrected by Bianca’s chants, while Drago attacks his opponent’s ribs, hoping to damage him like in their first fight.


Creed eventually has the upper hand, knocking Drago down repeatedly and pounding on him once he’s back up. At this time, Ivan Drago enters the ring and declares the contest a forfeit. Creed wins, regaining his championship, which was essentially a foregone conclusion; whether by points or another knockout, Viktor Drago was exhausted and certain to be defeated. The cloth was more of a barrier to save him from getting harmed any more.

This is significant for the Dragos (as we’ll see momentarily) and gives Adonis an unmistakable moral triumph, but it’s most significant for how it parallels Rocky IV. Rocky didn’t give up in the fatal exhibition bout between Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago, despite being torn between his love for Apollo and the fighter’s continuous insistence on keeping the contest continuing.


Thus, while Rocky is criticized for not halting the fight – something acknowledged by Adonis and in press coverage in Creed 2 – it’s a more introspective discussion over what was best for Apollo at the time: his life or his ego. Rocky’s inaction was deadly, torturing him into fighting Drago himself in Rocky IV, but it was also the reason he refused to train Adonis in Creed 2. The fact that the sequel’s last combat ends in a repetition of what happened before emphasizes how far all of the primary actors have progressed.

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Creed 2: Ivan & Viktor Drago Accept Defeat

Ivan Drago is a caricature in Rocky IV. He’s an irresistible juggernaut and an immovable object, achieving unfathomable strength levels and pummeling the previous Heavyweight Champion to oblivion.

Rocky only defeats him by radically rethinking his strategy, developing a back-to-basics training regimen, and intending to gradually wear the Russian down. The key to Rocky IV’s final bout was forcing Drago to lose his patriotism, lose his composure, and be reduced to simply a guy.


This is where Creed 2 picks up; the Ivan Drago shown here is discredited and lives in poverty. He intends to reclaim his son’s respect by transforming him into an angrier replica of his younger self.

However, both eras are motivated by the departure of Ivan’s ex-wife, Ludmilla Drago, following his defeat; they feel that if they win the Heavyweight championship, they will also be able to reclaim her. The objective is regaining her affection as much as it is going for Creed.

And, at first, it appears to work; she attends a banquet honoring Viktor’s first bout against Adonis and gets a front-row ticket for the rematch. However, as soon as it becomes clear that the Dragos may not win – not definitively, but with a minor potential of being shamed – she flees. The bout, the belt, and Creed suddenly don’t matter once the Dragos lose everything they were fighting for; Viktor loses his nerve, and Ivan ultimately throws in the towel.


Drago understands his son’s humanity when he has nothing to hide behind, and Viktor is enraged for all of two seconds before recognizing his father’s expression of love.

Creed 2 radically reframes his comic murderer, much as Creed made Apollo’s flamboyant death real. The finale of Adonis Creed’s quest is dependent on both villains’ compassion and their acceptance that victory isn’t as vital as each other.

This is emphasized by their last scene, in which the two are again in Ukraine exercising, but this time Ivan is racing with his son rather than breaking him.

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