Believe it or not, this film did not win the best picture Oscar by mistake. It's an exceptionally good and admirable piece of work.
Even if I pay you the compliment of assuming you loathe boxing and would rather watch an upturned tortoise than two idiots pummelling the crap out of each other, this is still an irresistibly uplifting and effective salute to human potential, with simultaneously vivid and warm-hearted backgrounds.
Try, if you can, to think of it as a film in its own right rather than the begetter of a six film sub-industry, and you will hopefully find that it works as well as it ever did. Like a collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Frank Capra. One day, Stallone will be recognised as one of the last true artists of American cinema.