Dolph Lundgren Debates If His Punches Actually Sent Sylvester Stallone to the Hospital During ‘Rocky IV’

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

With the director’s cut of Rocky IV releasing a few months ago, rumors about Dolph Lundgren sending Sylvester Stallone to the hospital began circulating again. Nevertheless, Lundgren recently voiced his doubts about it, wondering if it really was his fault.

You may not know this, but while filming Rocky IV, Sylvester Stallone had a near-death incident. The story goes Stallone wanted the fight between the two to be as authentic as possible. However, Lundgren was in peak physical condition and a martial artist on top of it. One day after shooting, Stallone had to go to the ICU for nine days. Though he’s talked about it previously, Lundgren spoke to The Guardian saying he’s unsure about the incident now.

“I don’t know,” Lundgren responded to being asked if he sent Stallone to the hospital. “He keeps talking about it, so maybe he’s right. He did go to the hospital, but I don’t know whether it was my punches or the fact that he was so overworked as the director, actor and writer. We shot those 15 rounds over two or three weeks, eight or 12 hours a day, so you’re throwing thousands of punches. If you don’t connect, it looks a bit fake, but it doesn’t mean you want to hurt the other guy. But there were no hard feelings.”

Lundgren does make a good point about everyone being overworked. With the actor taking so many punches on a daily basis, it’s probably hard to tell which ones did the trick. Then again, most of those punches in Rocky IV came from Lundgren, so it’s kind of a tossup.

Dolph Lundgren Says He and Sylvester Stallone Laugh About the Incident Now

Naturally, being sent to the ICU and thinking you’re going to die for nine days is a terrifying experience. Regardless, it seems both Dolph Lundgren and Sylvester Stallone have no hard feelings about the incident and actually laugh about it now.

Speaking to FOX News last November, Lundgren reflected on filming Rocky IV. Commenting about how the two were in excellent shape, he said injuries were part of the job and they joke about it to this day.

“Ah, we laugh about it. We both got hit in the face in that picture,” Lundgren stated. “In those days there were no effects so if you wanted a head shot when the sweat flies out of your hair and blood comes out of your mouth you had to shoot it. You had to do it. So we both had to take those shots but we joke about it sometimes.”

Funnily enough, Stallone previously admitted he “hated him immediately” when Lundgren was cast as Drago. Those feelings have faded though, as the two frequently star in movies together today.