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Brizel Wepner


Chuck Wepner is The Real Rocky Balboa


By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Correspondent

 Chuck Wepner, the little big man known as ‘The Bayonne Bleeder’, Wepner compiled a career record of 35-14-2 with 17 knockouts during his career as a professional from 1964 to 1978. Win some and lose some. Wepner paid for his efforts with a great deal of blood, and thus his hard luck nickname. He almost made ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali, pay dearly for continuing his career after defeating George Foreman. Wepner served as Sylvester Stallone’s inspiration for the ‘Rocky’ movies, though Wepner never heard the final bell in his only attempt at winning the world heavyweight title.


Wepner came very close to going the distance in a world heavyweight title. He was 19 seconds from the round ending the fifteenth round when Muhammad Ali stopped him.


A New Jersey State and National Americas Heavyweight champion, Wepner did battle with the likes of Ernie Terrell (Win 12), Pedro Agosto (Win 10), Billy Williams (Win 10), Manuel Ramos (Win 10), Eddie Vick (Win 10),  Terry Hike (Win TKO 11), Roberto Davila (Win 10), Mike Boswell (Win TKO 10), Randy Neumann (Lost 12, Win 12, Win TKO 6), Billy Marquart (Win 12), Buster Mathis (Lost TKO 3), Jose Roman (Lost 10), Sonny Liston (Lost TKO 9) , George Foreman (Lost TKO 3), Joe Bugner ( Lost TKO 3) and Muhammad Ali (Lost TKO 15 for WBA and WBC World Heavyweight title). Wepner knocked down Ali with a right hand in the ninth round.

Wepenr versus Ali Full Fight

Wepner’s magic moment on YouTube

ESPN Films Real Rocky Part I

ESPN Films Real Rocky Part II

ESPN Films Real Rocky Part III

He remains today as he was years ago, a married liquor store owner. But for one magic moment, Chuck Wepner knocked down Muhammad Ali and turned the heavyweight division and the sport of boxing upside down. George Foreman could not do it in the previous fight. Wepner almost put Ali away against phenomenal odds against. The late Corrie Sanders put away Dr. Wladimir Klitschko, so who’s to say an old dog veteran like Chuck Wepner couldn’t get lucky back in the day? Wepner’s last bout was a 12 round loss to Scott Frank for the New Jersey state Heavyweight title. Frank went on to lose only one bout, a title bout against Larry Holmes, so Wepner’s loss to Frank as his career ended was credible.




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