Sonny Conto has been branded as a real life Rocky Balboa and was joined on his ring walk by Tyson Fury

For Sonny Conto, the comparisons to Rocky Balboa come naturally, but Philadelphia’s heavyweight contender says his natural born power is far from ‘fictional.’

Conto’s Italian heritage, same hometown and a similar nickname have led to him being branded as a ‘real-life Rocky’, a genuine version of Sylvester Stallone’s famous film hero.

But the unbeaten 25-year-old is emerging as a serious threat, ending his most recent fight with a one-punch knockout, and has already received the support of WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Can you explain your nickname?

The Bronco. A guy by the name of Garrett Wilson, a former pro fighter, I think he’s retired now, he actually gave me the nickname.

As you know, Rocky was the ‘Italian Stallion’, so I’m ‘The Bronco’ and when I punch it’s like a bronco kick. That’s kind of where that came from. It rings.

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Are you the real-life Rocky?

You can say that. I’m from south Philly, an Italian kid. I’m a heavyweight. I live on the same block that Rocky ran down in the movie, so I guess you can say that.

Rocky was fictional. I’m my own person.

How long have you been in boxing?

I started boxing at 10-years-old. I was always a physical kid growing up. I never loved any sport like I love boxing, so one day I just came home and told my mother I wanted to box.

My father is always in my corner since day one, we are a father-son team, and it’s been great.

He’s strict on me, of course. I feel like that’s any father that really cares. Of course he’s proud. We put blood, sweat and tears and countless hours into this boxing.

The Top Rank promoted contender brought up his seventh win with a dramatic KO

Did you intend to deliver a big KO in your last fight?

Yes, absolutely it was set-up. The jab sets everything up and I believe that my jab is one of the best.

The jab set it up and I’m definitely born with that power as well.

What was it like to spar with Tyson Fury?

That was a great, awesome experience. He’s definitely the best guy doing it and he’s a great human being.

What you see is what you get. I lived with him for two weeks and he made me feel at home. Just dropping wisdom, being at the top of the game, it was just a great experience.

Did he pass on any advice?

He has told me a lot of things. Just several boxing things to elevate my IQ and just certain life things as well, aside from boxing. He’s a great teacher and he’s a great father and god bless him.

He likes feinting with that jab and he’s very unpredictable. He’s the best doing it.

Fury then joined the ring walk for one of your fights?

That was pretty cool. He actually came all the way to Philadelphia and walked me out, for I believe that was my fifth pro fight.

Man, that was really a crazy moment. It might have been probably one of the happiest moments of my career so far.

Just having ‘The Gypsy King’ walk you out at your home crowd. You can only imagine the feeling of walking out of that tunnel.

Can Fury defeat Anthony Joshua?

I’m ‘Team Tyson Fury’ to the end. Just knowing him on a personal level, it even makes me more of a fan.

I’m pretty biased, Tyson Fury all the way.

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By knockout?

I wouldn’t doubt it. Look what he just did to Wilder. I don’t think anyone expected him to bully the bully and he did what he said he was going to do.

Yeah, I take Fury by knockout.

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