History | Mar 24 2018

On This Day: Rocky is born as Chuck Wepner drops Muhammad Ali

James Slater catches up with Chuck Wepner 43 years after he turned in a spirited effort against Muhammad Ali
muhammad ali
Action Images

FORTY-THREE years ago today a rough, tough underdog named Chuck Wepner challenged the great Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight championship of the world. (Almost) 15-rounds later, the “Rocky” movie legend was born and Wepner, known as “The Bayonne Bleeder” due to where he came from and his tendency to suffer cuts in almost all of his pro bouts, had put himself in the record books.

78-year-old Wepner looks back at the Ali fight with pride, and Chuck also points out how he – along with George Foreman and the sadly ailing Ali himself – is one of just a few fighters who boxed during a golden era and is still alive to look back on it.

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