Boxing has been a thrilling sport for decades, and it’s no surprise that it has also inspired some of the best movies in the industry.
The world of boxing is packed with stories of triumphs and failures, making it an excellent backdrop for filmmakers to tell captivating stories. If you’re a fan of boxing or simply enjoy watching action-packed movies, then this blog post is for you.
In this post, we’ll be sharing some of the best black boxing movies to watch. These films highlight powerful performances by black actors who deliver captivating performances that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats.
Whether you’re looking for biopics based on real-life boxers or fictional stories centered around boxing, there’s something on this list for everyone.
You can expect to see some classic films like “Ali” and “Creed,” alongside newer releases such as “Southpaw.” We’ll dive into each movie’s plotline and give our thoughts on why we think they are must-watch experiences.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to explore some incredible black boxing movies worth adding to your watchlist!
Creed III (2023)
Creed III is the best boxing movie released in 2023 so far, it is a sports drama about a young boxer who must confront a new foe in the ring while navigating personal struggles and family legacy.
The movie features Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, son of Apollo, who returns to the ring to face a new challenger, played by Jonathan Majors while balancing his personal and professional life with his wife Bianca, played by Tessa Thompson.
The movie also stars Wood Harris, Phylicia Rashad, Mila Davis-Kent, and José Benavidez Jr. Directed by Michael B Jordan, the film is the third installment in the Rocky spinoff franchise and is rated PG-13 for sports action and drama.
Ali is a biographical sports drama film directed by Michael Mann that stars Will Smith as the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. The movie also features Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, and Mario Van Peebles in supporting roles.
The story follows the life of Ali from his early days as Cassius Clay to his rise to fame as one of the greatest boxers in history.
The film highlights Ali’s personal struggles with racism, politics and religion, both inside and outside the ring. It showcases some of his most iconic fights including “The Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman and “The Thrilla in Manila” against Joe Frazier.
Throughout the movie, we see how Ali’s charisma, determination, and unwavering self-belief not only made him a champion but also an influential cultural figure who inspired generations.
It is a must-watch for boxing fans or anyone interested in learning about one of the most fascinating figures in sports history.
The performances are outstanding, particularly Will Smith’s portrayal of Ali which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and an award for best supporting actor. The movie pays tribute to a true legend while also touching on important social issues that still resonate today.
Creed directed by Ryan Coogler is a sports drama film that stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson.
The movie is about Adonis Johnson, the son of heavyweight champion Apollo Creed who was slain in the ring. Adonis decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a boxer himself despite being discouraged by his family.
In an attempt to make a name for himself in the boxing world, Adonis seeks out Rocky Balboa, Apollo Creed’s former rival and friend. Rocky agrees to train him and becomes a mentor figure for Adonis as he navigates through the ups and downs of professional boxing while dealing with personal struggles along the way.
Overall, Creed delivers powerful performances from its cast members while exploring themes of legacy, identity, and perseverance.
It’s definitely worth watching for anyone interested in sports dramas or looking for inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles.
One Night in Miami (2020)
One Night in Miami directed by Regina King is a powerful and thought-provoking movie that brings together four black icons – Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke – for an unforgettable night.
The movie centers around their conversations on race, religion, politics, and fame in the backdrop of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
The movie features outstanding performances from its lead actors – Eli Goree as Muhammad Ali, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke. Each actor brilliantly embodies their character’s unique personality and beliefs while also bringing out their vulnerabilities.
For the most part, One Night in Miami is a must-watch movie that offers a fresh perspective on Black history and highlights the complexities of being Black in America during one of its most turbulent periods.
Creed II (2018)
Creed II is a 2018 American sports drama film directed by Steven Caple Jr. and written by Sylvester Stallone and Juel Taylor. The movie stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, Florian Munteanu, and Phylicia Rashad.
The sequel to the 2015 film Creed follows Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) as he faces off against Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the man who killed his father in the ring years before.
With Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) by his side, Adonis must confront his past while fighting for his future in this thrilling boxing film that explores themes of legacy and redemption.
The Hurricane (1999)
One of the best black boxing movies to watch is The Hurricane (1999), directed by Norman Jewison. This movie features Denzel Washington as Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter, a boxer who was wrongfully convicted for a triple murder in New Jersey. The film also stars Vicellous Reon Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, and Liev Schreiber.
The hurricane tells the true story of Rubin Carter’s fight for justice and his eventual release from prison after spending 19 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Throughout the movie, we see flashbacks of Carter’s life leading up to his wrongful conviction and how he becomes determined to clear his name. With powerful performances from Washington and the supporting cast, this movie is an emotional journey that explores themes of racial injustice and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Altogether, the hurricane is a must-watch film for anyone interested in black boxing movies or stories about fighting against systemic oppression. It provides insight into one man’s struggle for freedom and highlights the importance of never giving up hope in even the darkest of situations.
The Great White Hope (1970)
The Great White Hope is a 70’s film directed by Martin Ritt, starring James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander. The movie follows the story of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world.
Set in the early 1900s, it explores Johnson’s struggles to maintain his title while facing immense racial discrimination both in and out of the ring.
Jones gives a powerful performance as Johnson, capturing both his strength and vulnerability as he navigates through a hostile environment.
Alexander plays his love interest, who also faces backlash for being involved with a black man. The film was based on a Tony Award-winning play of the same name by Howard Sackler.
Knuckle City (2019)
Knuckle City is an emotional rollercoaster of a movie that takes viewers on a journey through the rough and tumble world of boxing in South Africa.
The film stars Bongile Mantsai as Dudu Nyakama, a talented but troubled professional boxer who comes from a family of fighters. The rest of the cast includes Thembekile Komani, Awethu Hleli, and Siv Ngesi.
The movie explores themes such as poverty, corruption, addiction, and the deep-rooted cultural significance that boxing holds for many people in South Africa.
It tells the story of Dudu’s struggles both inside and outside the ring as he tries to make ends meet for himself and his family while dealing with personal demons that threaten to derail his career.
Overall, Knuckle City is a powerful portrayal of what it means to be a fighter both physically and emotionally. It is not just about the sport itself but also about the harsh realities faced by those who dedicate their lives to it.
This movie is definitely worth watching for anyone interested in black boxing movies or just looking for a gripping drama with unforgettable characters.
The Man Inside (2012)
One of the best black boxing movies to watch is “The Man Inside” directed by Dan Turner. The film features a talented cast of British actors including Ashley Thomas, Peter Mullan, and Michelle Ryan. The movie premiered in 2012 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The Man Inside is a gripping drama that tells the story of a young boxer named Clayton who has to fight his way through life while dealing with personal struggles and family issues.
Clayton’s life takes an unexpected turn when he becomes involved in the criminal underworld and has to choose between loyalty to his family or doing what is right.
Without giving too much away, this film explores themes of love, loss, betrayal, and redemption within the context of the high-stakes world of professional boxing. If you’re looking for a powerful black boxing movie that will keep you on edge until the very end, The Man Inside is definitely worth watching.
The Great White Hype (1996)
The Great White Hype is a sports comedy film released in 1996, directed by Reginald Hudlin. The plot revolves around a heavyweight boxing match between the undefeated champion James “The Grim Reaper” Roper and an unknown, unranked fighter named “Irish” Terry Conklin.
As the hype for the fight builds up, it becomes clear that Conklin’s race has been marketed as his biggest selling point – despite having no real experience or skill in boxing.
Leading actors include Samuel L. Jackson as promoter Reverend Fred Sultan, Damon Wayans as Terry Conklin and Peter Berg as James Roper. Supporting actors include Jeff Goldblum, Jon Lovitz, and Corbin Bernsen.
The Great White Hype satirizes racial stereotypes within the world of professional boxing while also commenting on commercialization in sports.
With its witty script and hilarious performances from its cast members, The Great White Hype remains a relevant commentary on society’s obsession with race and entertainment today.
King of the World (2000)
King of the World is a biographical television movie released in 2000, directed by John Sacret Young. The movie features several prominent actors such as Terrence Howard, Steve Harris, and Barry Primus. The story revolves around the life of Muhammad Ali during his early career days from 1960 to 1965.
The movie showcases how Ali’s journey towards becoming a boxing legend began and how he conquered every obstacle that came his way.
It also highlights some of the significant events that occurred during those years, like his conversion to Islam and his name change from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.
King of the World provides an in-depth look at one of the most prominent figures in sports history while showcasing his remarkable achievements inside and outside of the ring. This film is recommended for anyone interested in boxing or for those who want to learn more about one of America’s greatest sports icons Muhammad Ali.
Diggstown is a 1992 comedy sports film directed by Michael Ritchie. It stars James Woods, Louis Gossett Jr., Bruce Dern, Heather Graham, and Oliver Platt. The movie tells the story of a con artist who tries to scam a corrupt small-town businessman by betting him that he can find a boxer who can knock out ten men in 24 hours.
The movie is set in Diggstown, a small town where corruption runs rampant. The con artist (played by James Woods) teams up with an aging boxer (played by Louis Gossett Jr.) to pull off the ultimate bet against the wealthy but crooked businessman (played by Bruce Dern).
With high stakes and no margin for error, the duo must use their wit and boxing skills to navigate through obstacles and ultimately come out on top. A fun and engaging watch for fans of boxing movies or classic comedies with an edge.
Undisputed is a boxing movie directed by Walter Hill that stars Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames in leading roles. The movie’s plot revolves around a boxer named Monroe Hutchen, played by Rhames, who is serving a life sentence in prison for murder.
Hutchen becomes the target of a violent prison boxing league’s undefeated champion, George “Iceman” Chambers (played by Snipes), with whom he must fight to prove his innocence.
The film explores themes of redemption and justice while showcasing intense boxing sequences that keep the audience on the edge of their seats. It also features noteworthy performances from Peter Falk as Mendy Ripstein, the mobster who organizes the prison fights, and Michael Rooker as A.J. Mercker, Iceman’s trainer.
Spirit of Youth (1938)
This is a classic boxing movie directed by Harry L. Fraser, starring Joe Louis, the first African American world heavyweight champion. The film also features Clarence Muse and Mae Turner in supporting roles.
The plot follows young boxer Dave, who dreams of becoming a professional fighter like his idol Joe Thomas. However, he faces numerous obstacles along the way, including racism and financial struggles. Despite these challenges, Dave perseveres with the help of his mentor Pop Williams and fights for his chance at greatness.
Spirit of Youth offers an inspiring story about determination and the pursuit of one’s dreams in the face of adversity. It’s a must-watch for boxing fans and anyone who appreciates uplifting stories about overcoming obstacles to achieve success.
Tyson is a 1995 biographical sports drama film directed by Uli Edel. The movie stars Michael Jai White as the legendary heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson. The cast also includes George C. Scott, James Sikking, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
The film follows Mike Tyson’s life from his troubled childhood to his rise in the boxing world and eventual fall from grace. The movie portrays Tyson’s relationships with various individuals in his life including his trainer, managers, and wives. It also delves into the controversy surrounding his personal life and legal troubles.
Overall, Tyson is an enthralling depiction of one of the greatest boxers to ever live. With Michael Jai White’s incredible performance as Mike Tyson and excellent supporting roles from the rest of the cast, this movie is a must-watch for any fan of sports dramas or boxing films alike.
Penitentiary is a cult classic directed by Jamaa Fanaka. The movie features Leon Isaac Kennedy, who plays the role of Martel “Too Sweet” Gordone, and Wilbur “Hi-Fi” White as Half Dead. The film also stars Thommy Pollard, Gloria Delaney, and Badja Djola.
The movie follows the story of Gordone, who is wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. He finds himself in a brutal environment where he must fight to survive.
In prison, Gordone discovers his talent for boxing and decides to participate in the penitentiary’s boxing tournament. The prize for winning is early release from prison.
Penitentiary explores themes of injustice and survival in an unforgiving environment. It also shines a light on the corrupt nature of the prison system and its effect on inmates’ lives. This movie remains relevant today as it highlights issues that still plague our society today.
If you are a fan of boxing movies or enjoy thought-provoking films that shed light on important social issues, Penitentiary (1979) should be at the top of your list.
The Joe Louis Story (1953)
The Joe Louis Story is a 1953 biographical sports drama film directed by Robert Gordon. It stars Coley Wallace as the legendary boxer Joe Louis, with supporting roles played by Hilda Simms and Paul Stewart.
The movie tells the story of how Louis became one of the greatest boxers in history, from his early days growing up in poverty to becoming a world champion.
Throughout the movie, we see glimpses of Louis’ personal life and struggles outside of the ring. While he became a symbol of hope for many African Americans during his career, he also faced discrimination and racism throughout his life.
The film does an excellent job at showcasing both his triumphs as well as his challenges, making it an inspiring watch for anyone interested in boxing or sports films in general.
The Greatest (1977)
The Greatest is a 1977 biographical film directed by Tom Gries and Monte Hellman, featuring Muhammad Ali and his life story. The movie follows the career of Ali from his early days as Cassius Clay to his rise as a heavyweight champion.
It showcases some of his most famous boxing matches, including the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman in 1974.
The film features an all-star cast, including Muhammad Ali himself, who plays himself throughout the movie. Other notable actors include Ernest Borgnine as Angelo Dundee, John Marley as Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, and James Earl Jones as Malcolm X. T
he movie also includes appearances by many other famous boxers such as Joe Frazier and George Foreman. The film also won an award for best picture.
In general, The Greatest is a must-watch for any boxing fan or anyone interested in learning more about one of the greatest athletes to ever live.
It’s a powerful tribute to Muhammad Ali’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming not only one of the most successful boxers in history but also an icon for social justice movements worldwide.
Resurrecting the Champ (2007)
Resurrecting the Champ is a sports drama movie directed by Rod Lurie. Samuel L. Jackson plays the role of a homeless man who claims to be a former boxing champion, and Josh Hartnett portrays an ambitious journalist who discovers his story. The film also features Teri Hatcher, Alan Alda, and Dakota Goyo.
The movie is based on a true story and revolves around the themes of journalistic ethics, redemption, and personal legacy. The plot follows Erik Kernan Jr., a struggling sports reporter who finds himself in a moral dilemma when he uncovers the truth about the homeless man’s past.
Resurrecting the Champ explores how far one would go to uncover the truth as well as examining how people manage their failures while fighting for success.
In conclusion, Resurrecting the Champ is an emotional and thought-provoking movie that delves into issues such as journalism ethics, personal identity, family struggles, and human connection.
It provides audiences with an intimate look at what it means to overcome failure while pursuing success in life through two central characters whose lives are intertwined by fate’s hand.
Phantom Punch (2008)
Phantom Punch, directed by Robert Townsend, is a biopic about the legendary boxer Sonny Liston. The film stars Ving Rhames as Liston and Stacey Dash as his wife, Geraldine. Other notable actors in the movie include Nicholas Turturro, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Alan Arkin, and David Proval.
The movie follows Liston’s journey from his early days in prison to becoming one of the most feared boxers of all time. It explores his relationships with key figures in the boxing world such as Muhammad Ali and organized crime bosses.
Without giving away too much of the plot, Phantom Punch delves into themes of redemption and resilience amidst adversity.
In general, Phantom Punch is a well-acted and engaging biopic that sheds light on one of boxing’s most enigmatic figures. It is definitely worth checking out for fans of both boxing movies and biographical dramas.
Don King: Only in America (1997)
Don King Only in America, the 1997 biographical film is a must-watch for all boxing fans. The movie features some of Hollywood’s finest actors including Ving Rhames, who portrays the legendary boxing promoter, Don King. Alongside him are notable actors such as Jeremy Piven and Darius McCrary.
The movie follows the rise of Don King from his humble beginnings to becoming one of the most influential figures in boxing history.
It chronicles his journey from being a small-time hustler to promoting some of the biggest fights in history such as Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman – “The Rumble in the Jungle.” The story also sheds light on King’s controversial tactics and how he managed to navigate through them.
Overall, Don King Only in America is an inspiring tale that showcases how perseverance and hard work can pay off even against seemingly insurmountable odds. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in sports or those who want to learn more about one of boxing’s most prominent figures – Don King.
“Hammer” is a 1972 film directed by Bruce D. Clark and starring Fred Williamson, Bernie Hamilton, and Vonetta McGee. The movie follows the story of B.J. Hammer (Fred Williamson), an ex-boxer who becomes a bodyguard for a wealthy businessman. When his employer’s daughter is kidnapped, Hammer sets out to rescue her.
The film is known for its action-packed boxing scenes and thrilling plot twists as Hammer navigates through the criminal underworld to save his employer’s daughter. With its all-star cast and exciting storyline, “Hammer” has become a cult classic in the genre of black boxing movies.
All in all, “Hammer” is an entertaining and suspenseful film that showcases Fred Williamson’s talent as both an actor and boxer. Its gritty portrayal of the world of professional boxing makes it a must-watch for fans of the genre.
Against the Ropes (2004)
This is a biographical sports drama film directed by Charles S. Dutton. The movie stars Meg Ryan as Jackie Kallen, a woman who became the first female boxing manager in history. Omar Epps plays Luther Shaw, a talented boxer who becomes Kallen’s protégé.
The movie tells the story of Jackie Kallen’s journey to success in a male-dominated industry and how she transforms Shaw into a contender for the world title. It also showcases her struggles with personal relationships and her constant battles against sexism and racism.
In conclusion, Against the Ropes is an inspiring film that highlights the importance of perseverance, determination, and courage in pursuing one’s dreams despite all odds. It is definitely worth watching for those who enjoy sports dramas or are interested in boxing history.
Banged Up (2003)
Banged Up is a gripping drama film directed by Theophile Yockot, with an impressive ensemble cast that includes the likes of Clifton Powell, Sticky Fingaz, and Mel Jackson.
The movie tells the story of three former friends who reunite years later to help one of them prepare for a boxing match in prison. However, as they train together and face challenges both inside and outside the ring, their loyalty to each other is tested.
The film’s portrayal of life behind bars and the realities facing inmates is both raw and authentic. It highlights the struggles faced by those incarcerated and the choices they must make every day just to survive. Banged Up also explores themes such as friendship, redemption, and sacrifice.
Penitentiary 2 (1982)
This is a classic 80’s boxing movie that stars Leon Isaac Kennedy as Martel “Too Sweet” Gordone, a former prisoner who becomes a professional boxer after his release from prison. The film also features notable actors such as Glynn Turman and Mr. T.
The movie follows the story of Gordone’s journey to becoming a professional boxer while navigating through the corrupt world of boxing. As he works towards his goal, he must also confront his past demons and navigate through various obstacles, including rival boxers and shady promoters.
Body And Soul (1981)
This is a boxing movie directed by George Bowers that tells the story of Leon, played by Leon Isaac Kennedy. Kennedy plays a young boxer with dreams of making it big in the ring. When he meets a sleazy boxing manager named Little Joe, played by Peter Lawford, he quickly learns that fame and fortune come with a hefty price tag.
The film also stars Jayne Kennedy as Leon’s love interest, giving the movie an added layer of romance. With plenty of action-packed fight scenes and an engaging storyline, Body and Soul is one of the best black boxing movies to watch for those who enjoy drama and suspense.
The film has been praised for its authentic portrayal of the sport of boxing and its exploration of themes such as greed, betrayal, and redemption.
Frequently asked questions
What movie is about a black boxer?
The movie “Tyson” (1995) tells the story of Mike Tyson’s rise to fame as a boxer through interviews with Tyson himself as well as footage from his fights. The documentary explores both his impressive athletic achievements as well as his personal struggles with drugs, relationships and legal troubles.
It provides insight into one of boxing’s most iconic figures while also reflecting on themes such as race, class and masculinity that are often intertwined with sports culture.
Mike Tyson is a former American professional boxer widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1966, Tyson had a troubled childhood and was frequently involved in street fights before being discovered by trainer Cus D’Amato at age 13.
Under D’Amato’s guidance, Tyson became the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles at just 20 years old.
Throughout his career, Tyson was known for his intense fighting style and knockout power, winning 44 of his 58 professional fights by knockout.
However, he also faced numerous adversities both inside and outside the ring. After retiring from boxing in 2005, Tyson has since become an actor and media personality.
What is the most famous boxing movie of all time?
Rocky is undoubtedly the most famous boxing movie of all time. The story of an underdog fighter, Rocky Balboa, who gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fight the heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, captured the hearts of audiences worldwide.
The film’s success led to multiple sequels and spin-offs, including Rocky II and Rocky IV. These movies were also successful at the box office and helped cement Sylvester Stallone’s place in Hollywood history.
However, there are many other famous boxing movies that are worth watching. One such movie is Ali (2001), which tells the story of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali’s life both inside and outside of the ring.
Will Smith delivers an outstanding performance as Ali himself in this biographical drama that covers his rise to fame as well as his personal struggles with race relations, politics, and religious beliefs.
Another great famous boxing movie is Cinderella Man (2005), starring Russell Crowe as James J. Braddock, a Depression-era boxer who fights his way back into contention for the heavyweight championship after losing everything during hard times.
This inspiring true story shows how Braddock overcame adversity to become one of America’s greatest boxing champions during one of its darkest periods in history.
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