Creed 3 x BOXRAW – The Origin Story

Ben Amanna, Founder & CEO March 08, 2023

I grew up watching the Rocky saga and it played a key role in my early life. It put life's fight into perspective and it epitomised hard graft. To then experience the Creed legacy, having BOXRAW feature in Creed II and to now be the official brand partners in Creed III, launching the official Creed collection – it means a lot.

The Creed brand represents the boxing lifestyle and portrays through its lens the principles needed to make it in this sport and in life.

Mind, body and soul – Creed embodies our values and beliefs and it’s great to be working with the team on such meaningful collaboration.

Creed II x BOXRAW - The Beginnings

One of my goals when launching the brand in 2017 was to get BOXRAW in Creed. I had it written on my white board in my bedroom at my mum's in 2016 before we even launched. I didn’t know when they were going to start filming for Creed II, all I knew was that we had to be in there. It was a more of a personal goal than anything.

Shortly after launch, news surfaced that Creed II would start filming soon so I knew I had my shot. I started off by searching on IMBD to find out who the costume designer was for Creed I. A few Facebook messages and phone calls later, I made a friend in Antoinette Messam.

She loved our product but wasn’t working on Creed II, so kindly introduced me to Cat and Adam Stone of Stone Management, who were handling product placements.

We hit it off, they loved the product and wanted to help. They reminded me that Michael B. Jordan was sponsored by Nike so, while they could help get it into the hands of the costume designer, it would likely only be picked up by an extra. I was happy with that! Goal complete?

They loved the product and sent a line list which we delivered on. Two weeks later, I get a phone call from the crew who were on set with MBJ telling me he wanted some of our tracksuits to be sent express delivery for him to wear on set.

Apparently, he loved the silhouettes and quality and wanted to rep in the movie. We delivered and then three months later, the trailer dropped with MBJ wearing two of our tracksuits!

Creed III x BOXRAW – Chapter 2

Three years on, January 2021, I find myself in a conversation with Rob Sale (MBJ’s boxing coach) and we instantly hit it off. Rob had a serious love for the sport, having trained multiple world champions and being around boxing his whole life.

For months we spoke and, after explaining more about the brand and our innovation focused approach to product, he pushed hard for me and made an introduction to the incredible Lizz Wolf, costume designer for Creed II and Creed III.

Lizz explained the vision for Creed III and how important the costuming was for Adonis' character. After reading the script it was clear they were portraying the ultimate man in boxing and they needed the ultimate brand in boxing to showcase that.

Of course, they came to the right place. I was aware they already had plans to use Grant gloves as they’d already had designs signed off, however, I knew what we were working on was much more special.

I knew MBJ was a fan and customer of the brand so when the opportunity came to speak with him direct, we instantly vibed.

I talked him through the various innovations and patent-pending features in the gloves, boots, head guards and groin guards, explaining that we’d been working on them for the last 5 years and although they weren’t quite complete, they were set to change the entire game. He loved it and gave me the opportunity to produce all boxing equipment and sportswear for his character, Adonis Creed. 

Lizz and I then spent a handful of all-nighters working on styles, silhouettes and colourways which led to an order of over 200 customised SKUs across equipment and apparel. At the time, I honestly didn’t know if we were going to be able to deliver everything in time for filming in just three months.

The gloves weren’t ready, the boots were just a concept and the apparel all needed to be designed, manufactured and shipped over from the Far East at a time when shipping was halted due to covid.

The odds were stacked against us but I also knew we were never going to get an opportunity like this again to showcase our brand and innovations on the world stage.

The whole team got to work, often working until 4/5am to then repeat back in the office the next morning. It brought many people to breaking point, but no one folded.

Everyone pulled up their sleeves and got the job done. Lizz was a rock and together we were able to pull off the impossible, resulting in some real meaningful work.

Unfortunately, the gloves we made for the final fight scene were too small for MBJ come shoot day. Time was very tight, and I was testing a new fit based on improved aerodynamics, which meant they fit smaller than they originally did.

I have no regrets in the pursuit of true innovation and we still got development samples of our gloves and boots featured in the movie as a nod to our forward-thinking innovation. Plus, loads of our sportswear and customised apparel made it into key moments throughout the movie.

Goal complete - onto the next one. Creed was just the stepping stone – this next chapter at BOXRAW is going to be the one that really defines us. LFG.

A big shoutout to Antoinette, Cat, Adam, Rob and Lizz. What started out as business relationships have turned into genuine friendships and for that I'm grateful.

Ben Amanna

Founder & CEO.