Special Report

The Worst Boxing Movies Ever Made

Boxing movies have been among the most acclaimed sports films. And they can also sometimes be among the lowest-rated – the worst.

To determine the worst boxing movies of all time according to both audiences and critics, 24/7 Tempo developed an index using average ratings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, and a combination of audience scores and Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, as of March 2023, weighting all ratings equally. Only movies in which boxing played a prominent part and that had at least 1,000 audience votes on IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes were considered. Cast credits are from IMDb.

Highly regarded actors such as Kirk Douglas, John Garfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe, and Woody Harrelson have all ended up in lamentable movies with a boxing theme. Four performers who appeared in these forgettable flicks – Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand, and George C. Scott – were actually Oscar winners, though not for these particular efforts. 

Any list of boxing movies has to start with Sylvester Stallone, who muscled his way into movie stardom with the film “Rocky” in 1976. The story about a club fighter who gets his shot at the world title spawned seven sequels (counting two “Creed” spinoffs). Two of the series – “Rocky IV” and “Rocky V” – appear on our list. (Stallone is now on our list of the 50 most famous actors over 70.)

Click here to see a list of the worst boxing movies ever made

De Niro, who starred in what is considered to be the greatest boxing film, “Raging Bull,” was in two movies that did not scale those heights – “Night and the City” and “Grudge Match,” the latter of which also starred Stallone. (Besides “Raging Bull,” see the other best boxing movies of all time.)

25. Resurrecting the Champ (2007)
> IMDb user rating: 6.7/10 (20,933 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 60% (29,913 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 60% (120 reviews)
> Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Kathryn Morris

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24. Rocky IV (1985)
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (194,615 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 75% (325,793 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 40% (48 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

23. The Great White Hope (1970)
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (2,493 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 67% (599 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 43% (7 reviews)
> Starring: James Earl Jones, Jane Alexander, Lou Gilbert

22. Triumph of the Spirit (1989)
> IMDb user rating: 6.8/10 (2,427 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 52% (1,248 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 57% (7 reviews)
> Starring: Willem Dafoe, Edward James Olmos, Robert Loggia

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21. Bruised (2020)
> IMDb user rating: 6.2/10 (15,267 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 56% (250 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 49% (92 reviews)
> Starring: Halle Berry, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim

20. Hands of Stone (2016)
> IMDb user rating: 6.6/10 (16,784 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 52% (5,285 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 44% (111 reviews)
> Starring: Edgar Ramí­rez, Usher, Robert De Niro

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19. Kid Galahad (1962)
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (2,631 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 57% (5,127 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 40% (5 reviews)
> Starring: Elvis Presley, Gig Young, Lola Albright

18. Undisputed (2002)
> IMDb user rating: 6.2/10 (31,401 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 46% (9,258 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 48% (106 reviews)
> Starring: Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames, Peter Falk

17. Night and the City (1992)
> IMDb user rating: 5.8/10 (4,729 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 30% (861 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 57% (14 reviews)
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Jessica Lange, Cliff Gorman

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16. Grudge Match (2013)
> IMDb user rating: 6.4/10 (59,273 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 46% (36,078 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 31% (144 reviews)
> Starring: Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinger

15. The Main Event (1979)
> IMDb user rating: 5.6/10 (2,835 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 42% (2,367 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 40% (10 reviews)
> Starring: Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, Paul Sand

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14. The Great White Hype (1996)
> IMDb user rating: 5.5/10 (10,007 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 35% (7,845 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 45% (22 reviews)
> Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Damon Wayans

13. They Made Me a Criminal (1939)
> IMDb user rating: 6.9/10 (2,201 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 61% (808 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 0% (4 reviews)
> Starring: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The Dead End Kids

12. Fighting (2009)
> IMDb user rating: 5.6/10 (32,701 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 36% (765,966 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 39% (130 reviews)
> Starring: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzmán

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11. Annapolis (2006)
> IMDb user rating: 5.9/10 (20,853 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 60% (119,267 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 10% (114 reviews)
> Starring: James Franco, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson

10. Any Which Way You Can (1980)
> IMDb user rating: 6.1/10 (18,512 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 45% (21,127 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 20% (10 reviews)
> Starring: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis

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9. Movie Movie (1978)
> IMDb user rating: 6.5/10 (1,109 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 58% (1,547 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 0% (4 reviews)
> Starring: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Red Buttons

8. Legionnaire (1998)
> IMDb user rating: 5.5/10 (23,515 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 30% (11,938 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 29% (7 reviews)
> Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Steven Berkoff

7. Rocky V (1990)
> IMDb user rating: 5.3/10 (131,727 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 31% (268,285 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 30% (37 reviews)
> Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

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6. Homeboy (1988)
> IMDb user rating: 5.8/10 (2,459 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 49% (1,004 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 0% (1 reviews)
> Starring: Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Debra Feuer

5. Diamonds (1999)
> IMDb user rating: 5.4/10 (1,662 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 26% (1,402 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 26% (35 reviews)
> Starring: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Dan Aykroyd

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4. Against the Ropes (2004)
> IMDb user rating: 5.3/10 (7,252 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 29% (10,023 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 12% (135 reviews)
> Starring: Meg Ryan, Omar Epps, Charles S. Dutton

3. Play It to the Bone (1999)
> IMDb user rating: 5.5/10 (11,810 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 25% (10,380 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 11% (79 reviews)
> Starring: Woody Harrelson, Antonio Banderas

2. The Man Inside (2012)
> IMDb user rating: 4.9/10 (1,359 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 12% (50 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 27% (11 reviews)
> Starring: Peter Mullan, Michelle Ryan, David Harewood

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1. The Sting II (1983)
> IMDb user rating: 4.9/10 (2,182 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 29% (1,404 votes)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 0% (9 reviews)
> Starring: Jackie Gleason, Mac Davis, Teri Garr

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