Sylvester Stallone, left, and Michael B. Jordan attend the world premiere of "Creed II" at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

Sylvester Stallone has announced he will never play Rocky Balboa again.

The 72-year-old Hollywood legend has confirmed he has hung up his boxing gloves permanently, after playing the legendary character since the 1970s.

Alongside a video of him standing by a burning drum, which pays homage to the first movie, where homeless people used to stand around a burning drum whilst Rocky struggled to achieve his boxing dreams, Sylvester said: "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."

Sylvester made his last appearance as Rocky in the recently-released 'Creed II', in which he helps to train Apollo's son Adonis Johnson to fight against Ivan Drago's son. Bad blood from a fight between the parents in the 1980s has trickled through to the children and now both Johnson and Balboa are forced to confront their past.

Throughout the years, Rocky has risen through the ranks in the boxing world, turning to training too, and so legendary is the character that it has been immortalised in bronze near the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia, as a nod to the scene from the original Rocky movie.