CREED III*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
Los Angeles, 2002 – 15-year-old Adonis “Donnie” Creed (Thaddeus J. Mixon) sneaks out of his foster home to meet with his best friend, Damian “Dame” Anderson (Spence Moore II). They attend a Golden Gloves boxing match where Dame is competing under his stage name, “Diamond Dame”. Dame puts up a good fight and comes out victorious, and this is what makes Donnie look up to him. After the match, Dame drives to a liquor store. Donnie gets out of the car and sees a man named Leon (Aaron Alexander). Donnie confronts him, but Leon doesn’t recognize Donnie. The boy then proceeds to violently pummel Leon.
South Africa, 2017 – Donnie (Michael B. Jordan) is in a boxing rematch against “Pretty” Ricky Conlan (Anthony Bellew), who was recently released from prison. Despite Donnie’s reign as heavyweight champion, Conlan is set to reclaim his title. During the match, Donnie notices some of Conlan’s weak spots, and after a brief break, Donnie goes in for the attack in the final round, bringing Conlan down and allowing Donnie to maintain his champion title.
In the present day, Donnie has retired from boxing and is living comfortably with his family, now married to Bianca (Tessa Thompson) and raising their daughter Amara (Mila Davis-Kent). She aspires to fight just like her father and gets some boxing practice from Donnie. Bianca has stopped recording music and instead focuses on being a successful producer, though she does work on music in her free time. Donnie and Bianca also continue to spend time with Mary-Anne (Phylicia Rashad), whose health has been declining ever since she suffered a stroke. She has also become a loving grandmother to Amara.
Donnie also manages the Delphi Boxing Academy with his former coach Tony “Little Duke” Evers Jr (Wood Harris). They are currently training newcomer Felix “El Guerrero” Chavez (Jose Benavidez) to go up against Donnie’s former competitor Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu). Felix is supported by his mother Laura (Selenis Leyva).
Donnie walks out of the gym and sees a man standing by his car. It turns out to be Dame (now played by Jonathan Majors), having been recently released from prison after 18 years. The two catch up over lunch, and Dame talks about how he wants to continue pursuing his boxing aspirations, hoping Donnie can help him out. Dame also mentions having written to Donnie over the years while in prison, but Donnie claims he never got any of Dame’s letters.
At Amara’s school, a bullying girl grabs her drawing and rips it in two. Amara responds by punching the girl in the face. Donnie and Bianca are called in to resolve the matter, knowing that while she should know how to defend herself, she cannot use her skills against other children.
Donnie invites Dame to the gym for a bit of sparring. He gets into the ring with Felix, but Dame fights too aggressively, nearly turning the session into something more violent before Donnie and Duke break them up.
Later on, Donnie invites Dame to his home for dinner, where he meets Bianca and Amara. Dame talks to Donnie in private, expressing a desire to fight Felix for the title shot. Donnie, seeing him as an underdog in the business, isn’t onboard with the idea.
Bianca’s record label throws a party, where Donnie attends, along with Dame, and a couple boxers like Felix and Viktor. Dame privately talks to Bianca over what happened between him and Donnie, only mentioning Leon and saying Donnie can fill her in on the rest. A fight breaks out, and an assailant whacks Viktor over the face, knocking him out cold. While the assailant is arrested, this leaves Felix without an opponent. Donnie talks to Duke and Felix about putting Dame up against Felix as a first-time contender the same way he did against Conlan and the way Rocky did against Apollo. Felix agrees to it.
A fight is set between Felix and Dame. The crowd boos Dame as he makes his way to the stage. Donnie watches along with Bianca, Amara, and Laura. During the fight, Felix starts off strong, but Dame comes in with his dirty fighting style, which the ladies consider hard to watch. Ultimately, Dame knocks Felix out and wins the match.
After the fight, Donnie visits Mary-Anne. She reveals that she kept letters written by Dame to avoid letting Donnie falling into the same path that got Dame in prison. Donnie reacts angrily toward Mary-Anne, blaming her for Dame’s return and motivations against Donnie. He also finds a picture of Dame in prison with the assailant that attacked Viktor. Donnie goes to a beach party to confront Dame alongside his supporters. Donnie knows Dame set up for Viktor to get attacked to worm his way into the ring. Dame admits to it, saying he is coming for everything in Donnie’s life for abandoning him when they were young, and he punches Donnie in the face, giving him a black eye.
Dame becomes a sensation in the boxing world, publicly calling out Donnie for turning his back on him when they were young. When Bianca tries to ask Donnie about what happened between him and Dame, he is unable to bring himself to explain things to her.
Bianca later calls Donnie from the hospital, saying that Mary-Anne had another stroke. Donnie visits her in the hospital, where she is barely conscious. As he tries to apologize to her for how he spoke to her, Mary-Anne speaks as though she is addressing Apollo. She says that she is thankful for Donnie, because he helped her forgive Apollo for his infidelity, and Mary-Anne dies.
After Mary-Anne’s funeral, Donnie sits down with Bianca and tells her the truth. Leon was the foster father at the home where he and Dame stayed, and he put them through endless abuse. Donnie lost it when he saw Leon again and began beating him up until two of Leon’s friends pulled him off. Dame pulled a gun on them just as the cops arrived. Donnie ran away, leaving Dame to get arrested. Feeling guilty over what happened, he never attempted to contact Dame, and he knows that is why he is coming for him.
Donnie goes on “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith to discuss his comeback and relationship with Dame. Dame watches on TV at home and calls in the show to further antagonize Donnie, calling him a fraud and berating him. Donnie takes this opportunity to publicly challenge him, which Dame accepts. Donnie returns to the gym to train with Duke, along with a recovered Viktor, getting back into the groove of boxing before he can take Dame on.
The night of the big fight arrives, dubbed “Battle of Los Angeles”. Everyone close to Donnie shows up. Dame dominates in the first part of the match, brutally going at Donnie. During the break, Duke tries to encourage Donnie to let go of his fear and guilt in order to win. Donnie listens and goes for Dame’s weak spots since his energy is draining. Dame delivers a serious punch to Donnie’s ribs, almost causing him to stay down, but Donnie gets up at the last second to keep going. Donnie catches Dame when he is down and delivers a knockout punch, allowing him to win and reclaim his heavyweight title.
After the fight, Donnie sits with Dame privately. He apologizes to him for abandoning him and for never reaching out to him. Dame forgives Donnie. After everyone leaves, Donnie stays with Bianca and Amara, playing with Amara in the ring for a little bit before they go home.
Adonis "Donnie" Creed has retired from boxing to settle down with Bianca and their daughter Amara. However, an old friend from Donnie's past, Damian "Dame" Anderson, returns with a grudge against Donnie. When they were young, Dame went to jail because he pulled a gun on some men that Donnie was fighting with, and Donnie ran away when the cops showed up. Dame vows to take everything that Donnie has built in retribution.
Dame tricks Donnie into getting him into a title fight by having a former prison friend assault Viktor Drago, who was set to fight Donnie's protege Felix Chavez, so that Dame can fight Felix and beat him. After the death of Mary-Anne Creed, Donnie decides it is time to stop running from his past and take Dame on.
Donnie comes out of retirement for a big match with Dame. While Dame dominates early on, Donnie lets go of his fear and guilt to come back strong and knock Dame out. Although he wins, Donnie and Dame reconcile and bury the hatchet, and Donnie returns to focusing on his family.