USA Tour: Bent eager to land knockout blows like Rocky Balboa
Darren Bent is this season hoping to land some knockout blows - just like Philadelphia's finest Rocky Balboa.
Bent is eager to get back on the scoring trail in 2012-13 after missing the final three months of the previous campaign with an ankle injury.
And, as he heads to the City of Brotherly Love on the first part of Villa's USA Tour, Bent is looking for inspiration from the screen boxing legend, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone.
The 72 stone steps before the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become known as the 'Rocky Steps' as a result of their appearance in the triple-Oscar-winning film Rocky and four of its sequels.
Balboa famously charges up to the summit to the song 'Gonna Fly Now'.
Bent said: "I love a bit of Rocky. I used to love the films when I watched them regularly five or six years ago. They were tremendous.
"It would be nice to do the Rocky Steps - the whole run through the town, up the stairs and then give it the whole celebration stuff at the top from the film.
"It would be great to see those kinds of landmarks certainly because that's not something I have done before."
Bent is hoping to pack a punch on the tour and expects tough encounters against all three sides because of the vast improvements in the MLS and the athletic ability of its players.
He continued: "The MLS is improving all the time. The standards keep on going up.
"Robbie joined up with us in January from LA Galaxy and he was tremendous. He's done great at Galaxy since he's been there too.
"I have been impressed with the MLS. It's definitely getting better and better.
"It is a breeding ground for athletes. They are athletes before anything else. That'll be good for us. The games will be hard but good and I am looking forward to it."
Bent is relishing the trip generally, with the USA a regular part of his holiday schedule when he's given leave from football.
He added: "I can't wait for it. I love America. I go on holiday to the USA every year and try different places.
"It's somewhere I am passionate about. So when I initially found out we were going across the pond I was delighted.
"I love American sport too, of course. There are the Bulls in Chicago where we're going. They're not my team though.
"I support the Cleveland Cavaliers but I am friends with Derrick Rose who plays for the Bulls.
"Cleveland have had a real torrid time since LeBron James left but they're my favourite team, I still love watching them play.
"Hopefully they have a better season this time around just like us."
Villa head out on tour of the USA today - for full information visit our USA 2012 tour guide.
Adobe Flash Plug-in Needed
This website requires a Adobe Flash plug-in. Please download the latest version of the Flash plug-in by clicking here