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Sylvester Stallone Explains How He Persuaded Michael B. Jordan to Take a Real Punch for ‘Creed’

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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A few weeks ago, Sylvester Stallone posted a behind-the-scenes video from Creed to his Twitter account, showing star Michael B. Jordan taking a real punch from boxing world champion Tony Bellow (who played his onscreen rival “Pretty” Ricky Conlan). Turns out that getting KO’d by a pro is a Rocky tradition. On Monday’s Tonight Show, franchise creator Stallone (who produced and co-stars in Creed) told host Jimmy Fallon that Jordan’s knockout was his “initiation” into the Rocky family. Watch the clip above.

Related: Sylvester Stallone Posts a Video of ‘Creed’ Co-Star Michael B. Jordan Getting Punched in the Face — For Real

According to Stallone, anyone who stars in a Rocky film must do what he calls a “dead man walking scene,” in which he gets filmed taking a hit from a stronger opponent. “You have to get clobbered, usually by a man stronger and larger — such as Carl Weathers, who was brilliant, he played Apollo Creed, but you’re talking about a world-class athlete,” said Stallone. Jordan, playing the late Apollo’s son Adonis Creed, was eager to participate in the tradition. “Unless you take this shot, you really can’t be part of the family,” Stallone says he told Jordan. The young star’s response? “Bring it on.” So Stallone directed Conlan to hit the actor with some force.

Related: 72 Hard-Hitting Facts About the ‘Rocky’ Movies

“Now when a real pro hits you, it isn’t like you see these barroom brawls or in Westerns — it’s boom, next thing you know, you are talking to angels,” said Stallone. As the video shows, one real punch from Conlan sent Jordan tumbling to the mat. But he could take comfort in the fact that Stallone had done this before… six times. In fact, on Rocky IV, he took a life-threatening shot from martial arts champion Dolph Lundgren (who played Russian boxer Ivan Drago). “Dolph Lundgren put me in the hospital for four-and-a-half days,” Stallone told Fallon. In an interview last year, Stallone explained that he told Lundgren to “really try to knock me out” for the first 45 seconds of a fight scene, but that Lundgren hit him so hard in the chest that his heart banged against his ribs and started to swell. “That usually happens in car accidents,” said Stallone. “So I was hit by a truck!” All just part of being in the Rocky family…