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Chuck Wepner: The Bayonne Bleeder.

Chuck Wepner: The Bayonne Bleeder

Field review by the editors.

Bayonne, New Jersey

Chuck Wepner was a part-time Bayonne liquor salesman when he challenged Muhammad Ali for boxing's World Heavyweight Championship in 1975. Even though, as expected, Wepner lost, he lasted all 15 rounds and knocked Ali down in round 9. He eventually retired from boxing with 328 stitches and nine broken noses, but he proudly carried with him a liquor sales business card featuring a photo of his Ali knockdown.

In 1976 Wepner's story inspired the plot of the Sylvester Stallone film Rocky, and in November 2022 his hometown erected a bronze statue of "The Bayonne Bleeder" next to its waterfront. Wepner, age 83, attended the unveiling, as did former heavyweight champ Larry Holmes and boxing promoter Lou DiBella, who said that Wepner was not a championship boxer -- not even a boxer, really -- but that he was "sort of a legend."

Chuck Wepner: The Bayonne Bleeder

1 W. 1st St., Bayonne, NJ
On the south side of W. 1st St., in Dennis P. Collins Park, just east of 1st St's intersection with Humphrey Ave.
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