ROCKY’S Tony Gazzo * (Joe Spinell/Joseph J. Spagnuolo)
What is a movie from the 70s without some good mob ties and the possibility of someone’s fingers getting broken? Hey, everybody had to make a buck, capeesh? Tony Gazzo was a loan shark who employed Rocky Balboa before his boxing career took off in the first film. Rocky was a good club fighter, but his purses were often meager and insufficient to support his girlfriend Adrian, let alone himself. To augment his income, Rocky looked for whatever work he could get , and caught the attention of Gazzo, who figured he could use Rocky as muscle. Rocky was responsible for collecting the debts, but in spite of his fearsome reputation, was reluctant to use violence outside the ring. Rocky once refused Gazzo’s orders to break the fingers of one debtor, instead collecting a partial payment.