Sylvester Stallone Challenges Pope Francis To Boxing Match During Audience In Rome

Youtube/Screenshot/The Times and The Sunday Times

Molly Welch Contributor
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Pope Francis met “Rocky” actor Sylvester Stallone Friday, and they might be a (boxing) match made in heaven.

Pope Francis met with Stallone and his family at a private audience in the Vatican, Vatican News shared Friday.

In speaking to Pope Francis, Stallone said, “Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day. We appreciate this very much.”

Pope Francis responded, “I am honored.” His translator, speaking for Pope Francis, said, “We grew up with your films.”

Stallone responded by playfully squaring up and saying, “Ready? We box!”

Smiling, Pope Francis responded by shaking his fist at Stallone.

Stallone grew up Catholic, but he stopped going to church when he became successful in Hollywood, according to Catholic News Agency. However, Stallone considers himself a faithful Catholic again.

“[This] puts me where I should be,” Stallone said in 2007.

He notes that prior to his return to his Catholic roots, “I was alone in the world. I thought I would have to handle things my own way.”

During an interview with the National Catholic Register, Stallone said one of the most important events of his life was also a crossroads for his faith: the birth of his daughter Sophia, who was born with a congenital malformation of a heart valve.

(RELATED: ‘Never Saw Him Again’: Sylvester Stallone’s Daughters Share How Her Dad Scared Away Their Dates)

“When my daughter was born sick, and I realized I really needed some help here, I started putting everything in God’s hands, his omnipotence, his all-forgivingness,” he said.

Stallone posed for a photo with Pope Francis, his brother Frank Stallone, his wife and former model Jennifer Flavin Stallone and their daughters, Sophia, 27, Sistine, 25 and Scarlet, 21.