Sylvester Stallone was delighted by a young Rocky fan who passionately reenacted his character's inspirational speech from the 2006 boxing drama, Rocky Balboa.
Ro Knight, a nine-year-old from Alabama, attended the first "Rocky Day" celebration in Philadelphia, which was the setting and filming location for the 1976 movie, Rocky.
The young fan approached Stallone, who was posing for photo ops near the iconic Rocky statue located at the bottom of the steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and brilliantly recited Rocky's impassioned "sunshine and rainbows" speech from the sixth film in the franchise.
In the scene, Rocky, now a 60-year-old who has been challenged to come out of retirement to fight, is confronted by his only son Robert Balboa, Jr. (played by This is Us actor Milo Ventimiglia) who strongly discourages him from donning his boxing gloves again.
After Robert blames his life failures on having a celebrity father, Rocky counters:
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows."
"It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it."
Here is the original scene from Rocky Balboa.
HD - Rocky Balboa (2006) - inspirational speechyoutu.be
And here is Knight's impassioned reenactment.
Stallone periodically joined Knight's recitation as onlookers watched in awe.
At one point, the two shouted:
"That’s how winning is done!"
Knight later recalled of their interaction:
“It was fantastic. He was surprised, I guess."
"It was awesome.”
Social media users weighed in on the KO performance of the two champs.
Some people noted the real-life relevance of the speech.
Knight told NBC Philadelphia that he watched the Rocky movies as a toddler with his father and memorized the speech with the intention of performing in front of an audience, and posting it on his Instagram account, @Ro_knows_wrestling, which has over 50,000 followers.
Stallone reportedly saw a clip of the social media star reciting the speech and shared it on his social media page in May 2021.
"This very young fan is amazing!" he wrote in the caption, adding:
"It makes me incredibly proud The ROCKY character has been passed down through several generations. It’s quite humbling ... Keep Punching young man!"
Knight was initially apprehensive about approaching his hero in person, but ultimately muscled up the courage.
He said of the 77-year-old actor:
“He has that aura, like he glows. But no matter how much I was nervous, I had to get through that, do the promo and it was just awesome.”
Spoken like a true champ.