Sylvester Stallone’s Story Behind Rocky’s Boxing Glove Necklace

Oct 30, 2016 | Articles

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“Dis is the favorite ‘ting I have on dis earth.”

Featured prominently in Rocky V, a gold boxing glove necklace was given to Rocky by his beloved trainer Mickey, who – as the story in the movie goes – had received it as a gift from boxing superstar Rocky Marciano.

“Dis is the favorite ‘ting I have on dis earth,” Mickey says as he tenderly hands over a tiny golden boxing glove to the young Balboa.

Marciano’s name looms large in Rocky lore – not just because they share the “Rocky” – but because Balboa himself was a fan of “The Rock”.

You’ll remember that Rocky displays a vintage Marciano poster in his apartment, which Mickey comments on during his visit. “You remind me of The Rock,” Mickey says, “you move like him, you got heart like he did.”

Necklace Mickey Gives to Rocky in Rocky V

Mick explains that the boxing glove pendant was originally one of Marciano’s cuff links. Rocky eventually uses a little sleight of hand to present his prized possession to his son Rocky Jr. on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The necklace can be seen earlier in the series, too. Stallone first wears it in Rocky III, and then again in Rocky IV.

During the 1990 premiere of Rocky V, replicas of the necklace used in the movie were distributed briefly as promotional pieces to a lucky few.

While the replicas weren’t totally faithful to the original, they were definitely reminiscent of it. Rocky’s necklace also features prominently in the poster artwork for Rocky V.

Sylvester Stallone wore his vintage-style boxing glove necklace in real-life, too, as the gold necklace is visible in many candid photographs from the late 1970’s and into the early 1980’s.

Sylvester Stallones Gold Boxing Glove Necklace

A Gift to Sylvester Stallone From Comedian Joey Bishop

The pair of gold cufflinks used in the film were actually gifted to Sylvester Stallone by comedian and Rat Pack member Joey Bishop. Sly met Bishop in the 1970’s when the two met on the television set of The Mike Douglas Show.

“You know, I really loved Rocky, and Rocky Marciano would have loved this movie,” Bishop told Stallone, “and you were very nice to Rocky Marciano and I have something that he gave me, but I think he’d want me to pass them on to you.”

With that, Bishop gave Sly the very same gold cufflinks that Rocky Marciano had presented to him. While he wore one of the gold boxing gloves as a pendant on a chain around his neck in real life, and also on screen in Rocky III and Rocky IV, Stallone chose to finally flesh out a story about it in 1990.

For Rocky V, Sly continued to wear one of the real boxing glove cufflinks and created the backstory about them being given from Marciano to Mickey Goldmill in Rocky V.

“When [Mickey] goes, ‘This is my favorite thing, from Marciano,’ it’s true what Mickey is saying to Rocky,” Sly explains of the scene. “So it’s a piece of the real Rocky through the Rocky movie and continues to live on.”

Rocky Movie Boxing Glove Pendant

The Real Boxing Glove Pendant Hits the Auction Block

In December, 2015, Sylvester Stallone offered the actual gold boxing glove necklace for sale among other prized pieces of his personal Rocky memorabilia at auction. The real pendant has become darkened and tarnished with age and wear around Sly’s neck, but it still holds all of its original charm.

The single gold boxing glove pendant sold at Heritage Auctions for an impressive $25,000.


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