Sylvester Stallone's fight scenes with real-life boxer ANTONIO TARVER in ROCKY BALBOA failed to live up to expectations for cast and crew because both sluggers were nursing injuries. Stallone, 60, admits he and Tarver, who plays MASON DIXON in the sequel, were both "banged up" when they stepped into the ring. He says, "His hand was broken, my foot was broken and I had a ruptured bulging disc in my neck. "We got there and I said, 'Why don't we just wing it?' because we didn't have time to work out the choreography because it was a lot of work. "I said, 'You box and I'll and reach out and tag you, and when you're close tag me but don't kill me.'" Tarver did his best not to land punches on the ageing Rocky, but his fighting spirit wouldn't let him keep missing. Stallone recalls, "He did knock me down a few times."