- "You know, kid, I know how you feel about this fight that's comin' up. Because I was young once, too. And I tell you somethin'. Well, if you wasn't here, I probably wouldn't be alive today. The fact that you're here and doin' as well as you're doin' gives me, what do you call it, a motivization, huh, to stay alive? 'Cause I think that people die sometimes when they don't wanna live no more. And nature is smarter than people think. Little by little, we lose our friends, we lose everything. We keep losing and losing till we say, you know, "What the hell am I livin' around here for? I got no reason to go on." But with you, kid, boy, I got a reason to go on, and I'm gonna stay alive, and I will watch you make good. And I'll never leave you until that happens. 'Cause when I leave you, you'll not only know how to fight, you'll be able to take care of yourself outside the ring, too."
- —Mickey to Rocky Balboa in Rocky V
Michael "Mickey" Goldmill is the deuteragonist in Rocky, but a tritagonist in Rocky II and Rocky III and flashback character Rocky V and Rocky Balboa. He was Rocky Balboa's trainer from 1976 until his death in 1981.
Mickey has gray hair in old age, but in young age, he has brown hair in Mighty Mick’s Gym poster and green eyes.
Michael "Mickey" Goldmill was the owner of Mighty Mick's Boxing and head Trainer of Rocky Balboa for most of Balboa's career. Goldmill is most likely based on legendary boxing trainer Cus D'amato.
Mickey Goldmill was born on April 7, 1905 to a Jewish family in Philadelphia, PA. He had done jr. boxing as a sport throughout his youth.
Micky started boxing professionally in 1922, but never gained any measure of fame. Goldmill recalled that he once knocked Ginny Russel out of the ring on September 14, 1923, which was the same day that Luis Firpo did the same to Jack Dempsey, The reason his feat didn't garner any media attention was that he didn't have a manager while Dempsey did. He retired in 1943. Mickey's only professional loss was to Abe Goldstein.
Mick's Professional Record: 23 Wins, (17 K.O.'s), 1 Loss
Micky continued to manage his gym. One of the regulars in his gym was Rocky Balboa, a local club fighter who had never realized his potential. When heavyweight champion Apollo Creed gave Balboa an unlikely shot at the title, Goldmill approaches him about being his manager. Based on their uneasy prior relationship, Balboa was initially resistant but ultimately agreed to let Goldmill train him. While Balboa lost the fight to Creed, he managed to last the full fifteen rounds, a first for any of Creed's opponents.
Creed soon challenged Balboa for a rematch in the hospital, although Rocky did not agree or disagree initially, Mickey angrily stated that there would be no rematch and that Rocky was the rightful winner of their fight. Eventually, after Creed's efforts at publicly embarrassing Balboa into a fight, Mickey began training Balboa for the rematch. For the second fight with Creed, Goldmill utilised unique training methods to help Balboa gain speed. He also converted Balboa from a left-handed fighting style to a right-handed style in an effort to both confuse Creed and to protect an eye Balboa had badly injured in the first fight. The rematch went off to a roaring start, with Creed determined to drop Rocky within two rounds to prove the first fight was a fluke. Using Mickey's tactics and training, Balboa held his stamina well into the later rounds, when both fighters tuckered out. After exhaustion, a simultaneous punch knocked both men to the ground, which almost ended in a double KO draw (in which Creed would have retained his championship), however Rocky managed to stand up and be firmly on his feet by the count of 8, to which he was declared to have defeated Apollo Creed by knockout and become the new heavyweight champion. Mickey beamed with pride seeing what the countless hours of training had earned his student, as well as never personally and professionally giving up in the face of the defeat and obscurity.
Goldmill trained Balboa to a series of successful title defenses after the fight with Creed before both men decided it was time for them to retire. Notable defenses of Rocky's were against Big Yank Ball at a US Army base, a gala fight at Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas, as well as a fight against the heavyweight champion of France. Mickey was struggling health-wise, but hid this from the Balboas. Mickey's active lifestyle also helped give off the public impression he was in fine shape. Only when he was agitated or extremely nervous would his true state show, such as when a charity exhibition with Thunderlips grew rowdy and Rocky was tossed around like a rag doll. Mickey briefly clutched his chest when faced with such excitement.
Controversial challenger Clubber Lang accused the two of avoiding him. Finally, Balboa agreed to face Lang in a fight which he figured would be his last title defense, partially on the basis of Clubber's public daylight obnoxiousness and suggestiveness towards his wife. Goldmill told Rocky that he would have to fight Lang alone if he agreed, later admitting that all of his challengers were hand-picked "good fighters, but not killers". Balboa was able to convince Goldmill to train him anyway, with the promise that this would be their last fight. In the time leading up to this fight, Mickey wanted to train Rocky the way he in preparation for facing Apollo Creed, back at his old squalid gymnasium. He was aghast that Rocky rented a hotel with crowds of people about and plenty of gaudiness, which Mickey compared to a circus.
The match-up was set for August 15, 1981. Shortly before the fight Balboa's and Lang's entourages got into a scuffle and Goldmill was knocked to the ground. He returned to the locker room and when it became apparent that something was wrong, Balboa attempted to call off the fight. Goldmill, however, would have none of it and ordered Balboa to go ahead with the bout. Balboa lost the fight in a second-round knockout.
During a melee before the fight with Balboa against Clubber Lang (Mr.T), Clubber pushed Mickey to a wall causing him to have a heart attack. He was rushed to the locker room where Adrian proceeded to take care of him. Soon after the fight Rocky reunites with Mickey for one last time for he could barely talk, his last words were, "I love you, kid. I love you," followed by, "Your instinct..." before Goldmill finally succumbed to a heart attack. Despite being 82, his tombstone claims he is 76.
With his death, Micky's will designated Rocky the heir to his gymnasium, Mighty Mick's, and his son, Robert Balboa Junior, them inheriting the asset officially in 1982. This event gave the gym protection from the IRS, for it was not encumbered, meaning Rocky was able to retain ownership when he we retired and went bankrupt in 1986. Rocky would reopen the gym from that point on, going to own it we'll into the 21st-century.
After his death, Rocky recalled his former mentor in flashbacks during the events of his later matches.
Micky's teachings would also live on through Rocky; when Rocky began training and managing his own pupils, such as Tommy Gunn in the late-1980s, or Adonis Creed, Apollo's son, in the 2010s. Rocky trained Adonis in very similar ways that Micky did him in the streets of Philadelphia; like Rocky having him attempt to catch chickens to enhance his speed and reaction time, much like Mickey did him.
Behind the Scenes
- Mickey is a playable character in the Rocky video game (through use of a cheat code), where he is Rocky's manager for the Rocky I, Rocky II and Rocky III timelines. Before the bout with Clubber Lang, it is announced that Mickey has died and Apollo Creed succeeds Mickey as Rocky's manager for the title bout and in the Rocky IV timeline. The sequel, Rocky Legends, has purse money where the player wins cash after each fight. If the player accumulates sufficient cash, he can purchase Mickey Goldmill as a playable fighter, where a younger Mickey is shown when he was in active boxing.
- Burgess Meredith reprised the role in Rocky V and archival footage was used for Rocky IV and Rocky Balboa.
- Mickey may be based off Charley Goldman. Both were bantamweights, had Jewish ancestry, and have similar sounding names. In addition, Charley was the boxing trainer of Rocky Marciano, whom Rocky Balboa is based on. Goldman trained Marciano in many ways similar to how Goldmill trained Balboa, such as tying their ankles together with string to teach them to spread their feet at the appropriate width. Goldman was (again, like Goldmill) well known for making wise remarks (ex. "A lot of people say Rocky [Marciano] don't look too good in there, but the guy on the ground don't look too good either.").----
In Ivan Drago: Justice Enforcer, Mickey appears as a ghost.