“Creed III” features two epic main event matches, one minor bout, and a smattering of smaller fights. The first comes in a flashback to Los Angeles in 2002 when Adonis and Damian Anderson (Jonathan Majors) were kids. Damian is the current champion in the amateur National Golden Gloves, and Adonis sneaks out to watch him fight in an underground match. This prologue quickly establishes their close brotherly bond. At the same time, the fight shows how Damian was once a true talent, as he delivers a massive knockout, and we get a glimpse of what could have been before that night changes their lives forever.
There’s a brief sparring match between Damian and Delphi Boxing Academy’s Felix Chavez (Jose Benavidez). Damian quickly shows his aggressive streak and resorts to a cheap shot under Felix’s arm, leading both to nearly throw off the gloves and fight for real. We get a sliver of the anger bubbling underneath the surface of Damian, and when they have a rematch on the world stage, we know it won’t end well for Felix.
It wouldn’t be a “Creed” movie without a montage. While the “Creed II” montage remains the reigning champ, the third film offers enough to get the audience’s blood pumping. Damian’s training consists of him straight KO-ing every opponent he spars with. While Adonis calls up his old nemesis, turned “frenemy,” Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), to help get him back on the horse. At first, Drago annihilates Adonis, but by the end of the montage, he gets his mojo back and takes down Drago Jr. It’s a fun way to bring back a fan-favorite antagonist and show they’ve moved past their parents’ baggage.