Mason Dixon (character)

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Mason Dixon
Rocky character
First appearance Rocky Balboa
Portrayed by Antonio Tarver
Nickname(s) The Line
The Undefeated Champion
Gender Male
Occupation Professional boxer
Nationality United States
Mason Dixon (character)
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Nationality United States American
Born Tampa, Florida
Boxing record
Total fights 34
Wins 34
Wins by KO 30
Losses 0
Draws 0

Mason "The Line" Dixon is a fictional character in the Rocky series who first appeared in the sixth film, entitled Rocky Balboa. He is the heavyweight boxing champion of the world who is challenged to fight a 59-year-old, retired Rocky Balboa in an exhibition fight. He is played by real-life (WBA Super, WBC, IBF, IBO, IBA) light heavyweight and (IBO) cruiserweight world champion Antonio Tarver. He was supposedly based on a combination of Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.

He is also noted for being the final of Rocky's opponents in the Rocky series. Despite technically being the "antagonist" of the final film, he does not harbor any ill-will towards Rocky and does not possess the arrogance, bitterness, or apathy compared to Rocky's opponents in the first five films. Both Mason Dixon and Rocky Balboa embrace at the end of their match and express their admiration and respect for each other.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Dixon was born in Tampa, Florida. At some point after Rocky Balboa's retirement, Dixon became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, winning the IBF, WBA, WBC and The Ring Magazine belts, in contrast to Balboa, who had held the WBA, WBC, and The Ring titles two times. He possesses a perfect record of 33 bouts, 33 victories and 30 knockouts, however this has in fact harmed his image as he so far above the abilities of his opponents that he is seen by the public as successful only because his opponent are weak fighters. Losing popularity and with the viewer figures for his Pay Per View matches falling, his promoters suggest holding a charity exhibition match with Balboa in Las Vegas to bolster Dixon's falling popularity, to capitalise first; on the buzz of a computer simulation that said that a Rocky in his prime would beat Dixon & second; the nostalgia of fans seeing Rocky fight one last time. With some hesitation, viewing the idea of fighting a man so far past his prime as absurd, he agrees to the match with some of the proceeds to go to charity.

Insulted at the press conference announcing the match, Dixon snaps, announcing that if he get angry at Balboa he will KO the old man in moments. Around the same time as Balboa begins his intense training regime to prepare for the match, Dixon abandons his more high-tech facilities and publicists in favour of returning to his old gym to train with the coach who first encouraged his talent. He is seen training, though far less intensely than his elderly opponent.

On the night of the match he speaks to Balboa, warning him that if Balboa attempted to cheap shot him, he would take Balboa down and seemed somewhat surprised to realise that Balboa was truely aiming to fight with all he had. On the night it was noted that he was in relatively poor physical condition compared to his average (an indication that he was not taking the fight or Balboa seriously) compared to Balboa's obvious efforts to get in shape. Initially Dixon controlled the fight without any difficulty, only to be surprised when Balboa finally landed a series of shots and he realised that Balboa had training to punch extremely hard to compensate for his loss of speed. In the 2nd round Dixon upped his game attempting to end the fight quickly, successfully knocking Balboa down twice (once from which the former champion barely recovered in time) before a critically misjudged punch on his part hit Rocky's hipbone, breaking Dixon's hand and allowing Balboa to go on the attack knocking Dixon down in turn.

Forced to effectively fight one handed until his hand numbed up, Dixon was put on the defensive and took considerable punishment from Balboa in the subsequent 2 rounds. By round 5 the pain had faded and the competition became more balanced and the 2 fought it out through rounds 6, 7, 8 & 9. By the final 10th round Dixon was exhausted but refused to give ground and kept fighting, nearly downing Balboa once again. In the end the match ended with he and Balboa standing the centre of the ring exchanging shots neither giving ground, both determined.

Dixon subsequently was awarded the win by split decision and with it gained a new respect as the fans had at last seen Dixon 'go the distance' against a skilled, determined opponent and proved that he had 'the heart of a champion' and the same determination that was admired in Rocky. By the end of the fight he had also gained a greater respect for Rocky and the 2 complimented each other as the match concluded.