We’ve all heard of Rocky Balboa, but lets meet the real life version. In the picture above find Chuck Wepner a journeyman fighter with 51 fights under his belt. Wepner started off his boxing career in New Jersey where he would work a 40 hour work week on top of his boxing training. After a series of fights, he was rewarded with the opportunity to fight Sonny Liston. Wepner lost and needed over 120 stitches in his face after the fight. He was down, but not out, after winning nine out of his next eleven fights he earned a chance to fight Muhammad Ali for the Heavy Weight Championship. Ali was guaranteed 1.5 million for the fight, while Wepner received 100,000. This was fitting as Wepner was a massive underdog and made out by the media to be a joke compared to Ali. All the writing on the wall leading up to the fight said that Wepner wouldn’t last. However, the fight ended up going 15 rounds with Ali eventually winning via TKO. Wepner was able to knock down Ali (only the 3rd career fall) which only fueled the crowds energy. Chuck went on to finish his boxing career with the Ali fight being the highlight, but more happened outside of the boxing ring.
Sylvester Stallone has openly said that Wepner inspired parts of Rocky especially the fight against Apollo Creed (Creed is based on Ali). Chuck also went on to fight Victor the Bear (an actual Black Bear), and Andre the Giant. If you have the time check out the ESPN special on Wepner by Clicking Here.
Be Like Chuck: To Hell with the Odds
Some tasks seem to daunting, some girls seem to hot, some jobs seem to hard. To hell with it all, if you don’t try what the hell are you doing out there? Chuck fought the worlds greatest fighter Muhammad Ali, and he didn’t flinch. When great opportunity arises in your life, you must rise to the occasion. Wepner was expected to last a little more than 15 seconds, instead he lasted 15 rounds. He may have lost the fight, but he put his best effort forward. In the end, if you have given it all you had in sports, in your jobs, or in a relationship, you can hold your head high.