Sylvester Stallone gets a surprise punch from Pope Francis, is ‘honoured’ by his fan

Los Angeles: Actor Sylvester Stallone recently went to the Vatican and met Pope Francis, who surprised the ‘Rocky’ actor with a punch, revealing that he’s a big fan of Stallone’s movies.

The ‘Rambo’ star was introduced, along with his wife, daughters and brother, to the Pontiff in a meeting shared on social media. The video shows a smiling Pope telling Stallone that he was a longtime fan, Deadline reported.

Stallone began the meeting, saying: “Well, thank you very much for taking time from your busy day. We appreciate this very much.” The Pope replied, “I am honoured. We grew up with your films.”

This caught the veteran actor by surprise, after which he said “Well I’m honoured, too,” before raising his fists and air-pumping, saying: “Ready? We box.”

The Pope added to the joke with a fake jab, clearly catching everyone by surprise. The group later assembled for a photo, shared on social media by Vatican News.

“It’s so great I appreciate it so much,” added Sly (Sylvester Stallone’s nickname). The 77-year-old wrote about the meeting in a post on Instagram, captioned: “Very rare and special moment. I was allowed to hold the keys that open every single door in the entire Vatican City. Including the Sistine Chapel. Of course they wouldn’t let me out of their sight with the keys. I don’t blame them.”

The meeting with the Pope, came ahead of Sly’s latest series ‘Tulsa King’, where Stallone plays mafia member Dwight ‘The General’ Manfredi who went to prison for 25 years to save the family.

Upon his release he tries to re-establish relations, but is sent to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to start running criminal operations.

In addition, the actor will also be releasing another production, titled ‘Sly’, which is a new Netflix documentary – looking at his early challenges as a troubled child in New York before breaking into the film industry, followed by huge successes with ‘Rocky’, ‘Rambo’ and other characters.

‘Sly’ will premiere on the closing night of the Toronto Film Festival. It is directed by Thom Zinny, and is billed as “an intimate and unexpected look” at the veteran actor’s life and career. The documentary is due for release in November, 2023.