Meet the toughest guy in New Jersey — True Jersey Grit
Chuck Wepner at 81 is the epitome of toughness and grit. He was a former heavyweight boxer who was a world ranked contender. His 1975 fight with the then undisputed heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali went seconds shy of a full 15 bruising rounds. .
That fight, and Chuck Wepner, became the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone's movie Rocky.
Chuck grew up on the tough streets of Bayonne. He recalls his neighborhood where dock works and naval yard workers frequently got into fights.
Chuck enlisted into the United States Marine Corps, where he was part of the boxing team and learned the proper elements of becoming a professional boxer.
At 6'5'' and 250 lbs chuck was an imposing figure. He won the heavyweight championship at a military base while still enlisted. When Chuck got out of the Marines, he became a bouncer at local Jersey clubs before turning pro.
He then boxed the Jersey circuit and was the New Jersey state heavyweight boxing champion. His professional career was a successful one but he got the nickname "The Bayonne Bleeder" from the punishment that he would sometimes take in fights.
In his fight with Sonny Liston, Chuck needed over 70 stitches to close the wounds on his face.
There have been two movies out specifically based on Chuck's life. The movies Chuck and Brawler both will give you a pretty good insight into Chuck Wepner.
At Chuck's induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, I had the pleasure and honor to sit down with him and talk about his intriguing life. He's one of the most interesting men I've ever met. He was sincere, entertaining, and true to his spirit.
Enjoy this inspirational video from Chuck on staying strong during tough times. No one will ever question his toughness. Chuck Wepner represents Jersey true grit in effort. Never give up!