New Creed Trailer is a Mike Tyson-in-his-Prime Knockout

“A great fighter once said, ‘it ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.’”

This reference to the 2006 film Rocky Balboa by the eponymous protagonist Adonis Johnson Creed says it all about the future of the “Rocky” franchise. This first Creed trailer has come out swinging and is definitely moving forward. The music, the first rate editing, and a irrefutably dynamic leading man in Michael B. Jordan in the title role.

While the homage to the previous Rocky films is evident – the American flag boxing trunks, the running scene in a gray sweat suit through the streets of Philly, and, of course, Sly (his entrance in this trailer is something else—did Rock become a mafia don in the last few years? Who cares, it’s awesome) – Creed looks like a new, fresh and gritty take on an almost 40-year-old series.

What you should really be excited about, however, Sly aside, the two real stars of this film are Jordan, of course, and his Fruitvale director, Ryan Coogler. As Adonis Creed, Jordan is the son of the Italian Stallion’s first iconic opponent, Apollo Creed (the great Carl Weathers). And as his mentor, Rock is once again trying to help propel a young man to greatness, only this time, unlike with the insanely unlikable Tommy Morrison (played by Tommy Gunn), here he’s training a young man worth caring about, one determined to follow in the footsteps of his father.

In just 2:43 minutes we learn about a young, Creed who is struggling to understand his father and his father’s boxing career, while proving he is his own man. The story goes that he never met his father, who died in the ring while fighting Russian fighter/cyborg Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV).

And Coogler, who not only directed but also co-wrote Creed with Aaron Covington, seems to be the perfect person to right this franchise.

We know Southpaw’s coming out soon, which also looks pretty special, but frankly, with the state of actual boxing as bleak as it is, we can’t have enough great boxing films—they’re easily better than the real thing.