"Rocky" goes to the Smithsonian — boxer's gloves, robe, shorts

Rocky Balboa's boxing robe and gloves will share the same home as Dorothy's ruby red slippers, Abraham Lincoln's top hat and Thomas Edison's light bulb.

Actor and director Sylvester Stallone Tuesday donated memorabilia from his "Rocky" movies to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

"I knew I was getting old, but I didn't think I would be with the dinosaurs so soon," Stallone said, laughing. "No, actually, I'm really unbelievably overwhelmed."

Stallone, 60, wore the red and yellow boxing robe in 1976's "Rocky." He also donated a black hat and a pair of autographed boxing gloves from "Rocky II" and shoes and his red, white and blue boxing shorts from "Rocky III."

"These objects could not be better in conveying the interplay of sports and entertainment in American film history, but more specifically they could not better convey the importance of Sylvester Stallone to the film industry," said Dwight Bowers, a curator at the National Museum of American History.

The objects will be displayed starting Dec. 21 in the "Treasures of American History" exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum. The temporary exhibition features 150 well-known pieces from the Museum of American History while that building is closed for renovation.

"Rocky," which won the Oscar for best picture for 1976, tells the story of an underdog fighter from Philadelphia who gets a chance at the heavyweight title.

Stallone will star in "Rocky Balboa," the sixth film in the series, which is set for release Dec. 22. He has written and starred in all the "Rocky" movies.

"They say you, you know, you're past prime. But I said that's also an interesting subject, too," Stallone said.

Then there were the physical challenges of trying to be a nimble fighter.

"You remember the Wizard of Oz? Before the Tin Man got his oil? That's me, everyone," he said.

Stallone said the "Rocky" series represents a "journey of hope, but it's never easy."