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"My name is Drago. I'm a fighter from the Soviet Union. I fight all my life and I never lose. Soon I fight Rocky Balboa, and the world will see his defeat. Soon, the whole world will know my name."

Ivan Drago (Russian: Иван Драго; born February 23, 1956 in Moscow) is an amateur boxer and Olympic gold medalist from the Soviet Union. Armed with an average punch of 2230 psi, he is able to kill Rocky Balboa's friend and later trainer, Apollo Creed, but is unsuccessful in defeating Rocky himself.

The USSR is extremly arrogant of Drago's boxing skills. However, Drago is not excessively boastful about his own ability; his wife, Ludmilla Drago, speaks for him most of the time.

He is known by several stage names, including the Siberian Bull, the Siberian Express, and Death from Above, the latter referring to Ivan's height and Apollo's death at his hands.



Born in Soviet Moscow, 1956, Drago is trained in amateur boxing by the best coaches of the Soviet Union: Sergei Igor Rimsky and Manuel Vega. He is given his own personal training quarter, where he uses several updated methods of technology to train. He is also seen injecting some form of perfomance enhancing drugs (presumably anabolic steroids).
Dolph Lundgren stated during an episode of VH1's I Love the '80s that Drago was "definitely a juicer"

Drago quickly rises amongst the ranks of Russian boxers, becoming the amateur boxing champion as well as an Olympic gold medalist in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. At some point, he marries Ludmilla Drago, also an athlete and an Olympic gold-medalist in swimming.

His Soviet trainers believed that Drago is the greatest boxer in the world. They fly to the United States, convinced that Ivan Drago is capable of defeating any boxer America has to offer. After an interview with the Americans, they decide to enter Drago into US professional boxing.

Drago vs Creed[]

"If he dies...he dies."

  • Drago on his defeat of Apollo Creed
Rocky Drago fight

Ivan faces off against Rocky.

The former American World Heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, now 39 years old, leaves retirement to challenge Drago to a boxing match, promoted by Rocky Balboa. As it is an exhibition match, neither boxer's professional record is to be affected. Before the match began, Drago ominously mutters, "You will lose." His prediction turns out to be true, and the 22-year-old Russian easily overpowers the older American man. In fact, Drago so overpowers Creed that the latter is killed after suffering a barrage of punches in the second round.

Drago vs Balboa[]

"I must break you."

To avenge his friend and trainer's death, Rocky Balboa travels to the Soviet Union to fight Drago in Moscow. Rocky honours the deceased Apollo by wearing his trademark Stars-and-Stripes. As the fight starts out Drago is in the lead, but after Rocky manages to cut the Russian's eye, a stalemate is reached. Eventually, Rocky begins to take the upper hand. Noticing this, Drago's promoter, a Soviet official, insults him, saying Ivan is disgracing the Soviet Union by allowing an American to fight so admirably against one of the Soviet Union's national heroes on home soil. The enraged Drago grabs his promoter by the throat, throws him out of the ring and proclaims that he fights only for himself. The fight continues, and before the fifteenth and final round, Drago assures Rocky that he will fight "to the end." However, it is not the end Drago anticipated; he is knocked out in the dying moments of the final round, and Rocky Balboa emerges the victor. After Drago's defeat, Rocky delivers a victory speech to the crowd and Drago and his trainers, along with his wife leave in humiliation.



"I win for me! FOR ME!"

  • Ivan Drago


Drago is a tall (196 cm[2]), blond haired, heaviliy built man. He is billed as weighing 261 pounds (118 kg).



  • Rocky IV (1985) Portrayed by Dolph Lundgren


  • Rocky (2002)
  • Rocky: Legends (2004)



  1. From the Rocky IV teaser trailer.
  2. Real-life height of Dolph Lundgren, the actor who portrays Ivan.