The third sequel to Sylvester Stallone's boxing blockbuster combines the ringside sports melodrama of the previous installments with the Cold War patriotism of the star/director's other motion picture series of the 1980s, the Rambo saga. Stallone is back as Rocky Balboa, the heavyweight champion of the world and now good friend of his one-time nemesis, Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). Creed is brutally slaughtered in the boxing ring during a lop-sided exhibition match against the superhuman Russian boxer Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), an event that Rocky takes personally. Vowing revenge against Drago in the name of Creed and the United States, Rocky is invited to the Soviet Union for a matchup and hires Creed's former manager (Tony Burton) to get him in shape. While Drago trains using the latest technology, Rocky's ascetic preparations are a low-key affair of carrying logs up hills through knee-deep Russian snow.