The backup Rocky Balboa statue for "Rocky III" might just end up in the hands of Sly Stallone himself ... 'cause his wife, Jennifer Flavin, says she wants to buy it!!
That was until we told her how much it'd cost her -- up to $1 MIL -- at which point she seemed to lose hope (sorry, Jenn).
TMZ Sports broke the story ... SCP Auctions is taking bids on the only replica of the iconic Rocky statue -- made just in case anything happened to the original.
Flavin was pumped about bringing the piece home to Stallone ... but after finding out the price tag, told us another place she'd be OK with the bronzen Balboa ending up.
Never say never, though ... you really think Sly wouldn't pony up?