While Rocky IV may not be the greatest of Rocky movies, it's a film that a lot of people are fans of. The cold war battle between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago was an iconic moment for the Rocky franchise. Part of the reason the film may be so well remembered may be because Sylvester Stallone apparently put an amazing amount of effort into the final boxing match. According to co-star Dolph Lundgren, Sly had the entire fight scene, and its music, worked out in advance...
When I showed up to start training with Sly for Rocky IV, he handed me a script. And it wasn't a script of the movie, it was a script of the fight. It was about 30 pages of just, 'Round 1, Left, Left, Left, Left, Right, Right, Left Hook,' and I had to memorize that on the page. And, he had the music already written for the fight, so we kind of choreographed the fight to the music. So, it was quite clever the way he did that
Fight scenes can be difficult sequences to film and for something like a boxing movie, where the final fight sequence is the culmination of the entire story, they're all the more important. It seems that in order to be sure that the Rocky IV fight scene worked as well as it could, Sylvester Stallone choreographed the entire thing before hand. Every punch, every step, even how those punches and steps woulds work to the music that was going to play. Because it's not a Rocky movie without a solid montage.
A separate 30 page script just to lay out the fight scene is sort of insane, but that what Dolph Lundgren says he received in one of the special features attached to Creed II. There's attention to detail and then there's whatever that is. At the same time, there's little argument that it didn't work. The final fight between Drago and Rocky feels incredibly epic and in a franchise that has a lot of great fight sequences, the one in Rocky IV may be the best. If you don't believe me, check it out.
If there's one thing that the Rocky movies were always great at, it was putting some great music up along with the matches. The music waits a few minutes for the audience to get invested in the fight, then comes in and makes the battle feel that much bigger. It's easy to assume the music was written to match the fight, and that's true, but the music wasn't created after the fight was over. The actors could actually time their swings to match the fight.
Rocky IV was a huge part of the franchise, so big that it brought Dolph Lundgren back for Creed II which you can find on Blu-ray and Digital HD now.