Apollo Creed is a fictional character from the Rocky films. He was played by Carl Weathers. He is a tough but agile boxer, who is, as the series begins, the undisputed heavyweight world champion. The character was inspired by the real-life champion Muhammad Ali, having what one author remarked as the same "brash, vocal, [and] theatrical" personality. Sylvester Stallone stated, "[Jack] Johnson served as the inspiration for the character of Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies"; the character is loosely based on a combination of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Louis, and Jack Johnson. Protagonist Rocky Balboa, Creed's rival in Rocky and Rocky II, faces underdog odds (five-to-one in Rocky II) and views Creed with respect, pointedly refusing the prodding of a reporter to "trash talk" against Creed by laconically remarking, "He's great. "