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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 January 8, 1963 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 Societ Moscow, 1963, Drago was trained in amateur boxing by the best of the Soviet Union. He had his own personal training quarter, where he used several updated methods of technology to train. He was also seen injecting some form of perfomance enhancing drugs (presumably anabolic steroids[2]).

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

His Soviet trainers believed that Drago was the greatest boxer in the world. They flew to the United States, convinced that Ivan Drago was capable of defeating any boxer America had to offer. After an interview with the Americans, they decided to enter Drago into American professional boxing.

Drago vs Creed

"If he dies...he dies."

  • Drago on his defeat of Apollo Creed

Ivan faces off against Rocky.

The former American World Heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, now 39 years old, came out of retirement to challenge Drago to a boxing match, promoted by Rocky Balboa. As it was to be an exhibition match, neither boxer's professional record would be affected. Before the match began, Drago ominously muttered, "You will lose." His prediction turned out to be true, and the 22-year-old Russian easily overpowered the older American man. In fact, Drago so overpowered Creed that the latter was 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 travelled to the Soviet Union to fight Drago in Moscow. Rocky honoured the deceased Apollo by wearing his trademark Stars-and-Stripes. The fight started out in Drago's lead, but after Rocky managed to cut the Russian's eye, a stalemate was reached. Eventually, Rocky began taking the upper hand. Noticing this, Drago's promoter, a Soviet official, insulted him, saying Ivan was 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 grabbed his promoter by the throat, threw him out of the ring and proclaimed that he only fights for himself. The fight continued, and before the fifteenth and final round, Drago assured Rocky that he would fight "to the end." However, Drago was knocked out in the dying moments of the final round, and Rocky Balboa emerged the victor.



"I win for me! FOR ME!"

  • Ivan Drago


Drago is a tall (215 cm[3]), 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. Lundgren stated during an episode of VH1's "I Love the '80s" that Drago was "definitely a juicer"
  3. Real-life height of Dolph Lundgren, the actor who portrays Ivan.