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Michael B. Jordan Highlighted Mexican Boxing in ‘Creed III’ Because Lack of Representation ‘Didn’t Seem Truthful’

"Mexican culture is such a pillar within the sport of boxing and felt like there wasn't really a lot of representation throughout the films in that type of way," Jordan said.

Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan

Getty Images for Metro-Goldwyn-M

Next year’s “Creed III” will be a fresh start for the “Rocky” spinoff franchise in more ways than one. It will be the first “Creed” movie without the involvement of Sylvester Stallone, who executive produced and played Rocky Balboa in the first two films in addition to writing “Creed II.” The film will also be Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut, something he said was “always an aspiration.”

Without the shadow of Rocky Balboa, “Creed II” places Jordan’s Adonis Creed front and center. But Jordan doesn’t want to hog all the spotlight.

At a recent press conference to promote the movie (via Slash Film), Jordan spoke about his decision to cast Mexican boxer Canelo Álvarez in his first acting role. While the “Rocky” franchise has a proud tradition of casting former boxers, Jordan’s saw the casting as an opportunity to highlight Mexican boxers. He said it’s a demographic that has been overlooked in the boxing-cinema canon.

“We just looked back, you know, it’s the history of boxing, and the Mexican culture is such a pillar within the sport of boxing and felt like there wasn’t really a lot of representation throughout the films in that type of way. And it just didn’t seem like the reality I lived in. So I wanted to incorporate Mexican culture into this film,” Jordan said. “I just felt that there was a lack there, that didn’t seem truthful and honest to the sport of boxing. And I wanted to kind of put that character there.”

Álvarez joins a storied list of professional boxers who have appeared in “Rocky” movies, but he clearly has the credentials. In his 17 years as a professional boxer, he has amassed 58 wins in 62 fights and is currently ranked as the world’s top active super middleweight boxer.

In addition to Jordan and Álvarez, “Creed III” stars Jonathan Majors, Tessa Thompson, Florian Munteanu, Phylicia Rashad, Selenis Leyva, Spence Moore II, Thaddeus J. Mixson, and Tony Bellew.

“Creed III” is set to open in theaters on March 3, 2023.

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