It looks like Rocky Balboa is retiring once and for all.

A recent post from Sylvester Stallone on Instagram indicates that he'll no longer play one of his most renowned characters: Rocky Balboa.

Stallone has played the character, which he created, since the first 'Rocky' film in 1976. The movie won three Oscars and is regarded as one of the greatest sports films ever made. It spanned seven sequels, the most recent of which, 'Creed II', hits Irish cinemas this Friday.

Stallone also wrote the first five Rocky movies and directed four of them. Thus it's safe to say, it's hard to know where Stallone ends and Balboa begins.

In a recent Instagram post, he wrote: "I just want to thank everyone around the whole wide world for taking the Rocky family into their hearts for over 40 years.

"It’s been my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character. Though it breaks my heart, sadly all things must pass… and end. I love you kind and generous people, and the most wonderful thing of all is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you..."

 

The accompanying video sees Stallone on set with 'Creed II' director Steven Caple Jr. The actor praises Michael B. Jordan’s performance as Adonis Creed. He also credits Caple and 'Creed' director Ryan Coogler with taking the 'Rocky' franchise into "new adventures."

"I couldn’t be happier as I step back because my story has been told, there’s a whole new world that’s going to be opening up with the audience, with this generation,” Stallone said. “Now you, [Michael B. Jordan], have to carry the mantle."