Dreams Blog-Extra

March 20, 2014

I was watching a TV ad for Rocky, The Broadway musical and began thinking about the original Rocky- Chuck Wepner. Wepner was a journeyman fighter not a “ham-and-egger” or a “tomato can” in any way. He came by his nickname, “The Bayonne Bleeder” honestly and with good reason. I was talking with Randy Newman one night at the Hammerstein Ballroom (while I was still able to walk), before the evenings first bout of a Lou DiBella sponsored Broadway Boxing card. I mentioned to him that he and Chuck Wepner fought some historical matches and he told me about their match in March of ’74. This was the type of night where the first three rows of fans would have been better of wearing raincoats as if they were going to attend a Gallagher concert (Wepner and Newman fought three times and none of their fights went the distance). In that fight, as with their other meetings, there was a lot of blood all over the place. In one clinch Wepner asked referee Tony Perez not to stop the fight on cuts because he was going to sign a deal to meet Muhammed Ali for a big payday. Perez told Wepner it wasn’t his blood and Chuck said, “You better stop the fight, Tony, before this guy bleeds to death.”

Wepner finished with a 35-14, 17 KO record. Wepner met Ali in 3/75 and was stopped in the 15th by TKO. Newman was 31-3, 11 KO.

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