What can you do when your life is a movie? Though most people can not relate, they still wish for the reel-life to take action in their real life.
On the contrary, Chuck Wepner, now a retired professional boxer, his life has been the inspiration for numerous Hollywood hits. Do you guys know ‘Rocky‘?
As stated above, most of his life is documented in reel and presented in major cities. There are rarely any people left who have not heard about the movie, Rocky.
However, some things are better in real life than anything else. Here, in this article, we will discuss this amazing personality who influenced movie makers throughout the decades.
Anything from his life, including his sketchy past, childhood, family, wife, and more. Make sure to read till the end.
Chuck Wepner: Quick Facts
|Full Name||Charles Wepner|
|Birth Date||February 26, 1939|
|Birth Place||Bayonne, New Jersey, United States|
|Nickname||The Bayonne Bleeder|
|Ethnicity||Mixed(German, Ukrainian, Belarusian)|
|Education||Bayonne High School|
|Father’s Name||Charles William Wepner|
|Mother’s Name||Dolores (née Hrynko) Wepner|
|Age||83 Years Old|
|Height||6 feet 5 inches(196 cm)|
|Shoe Size||Updating Soon|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
|Children||Two Daughters and A Son|
|Net Worth||$400 thousand|
|Last Update||September, 2022|
Early Life, Family, and Education
The former heavyweight boxer, Chuck was born as Charles Wepner to his parents in
Bayonne, New Jersey, the United States of America.
The boxing champion is the son of Charles William Wepner and Dolores Wepner (nee Hrynko).
Along with his parents, Chuck grew up in the city with his brother, Don. Growing up in the sketchy streets of Bayonne, New York, taught Wepner to be a brawler as a way to defend himself.
Likewise, he was just a year old when he and his mother relocated to his maternal grandmother’s house on 28th street near Hudson Boulevard.
Until he was 13, Wepner lived in a room, formerly a coal shed, with his mother and grandmother.
As for his education, Chuck went to Bayonne High School and actively playing for the school basketball team. Not to mention, Chuck was an avid sports player since childhood.
He is also American by nationality, while his ethnicity is mixed, i.e., German, Ukrainian, and Polish.
Age and Body Measurements- How Tall Is Chuch Wepner?
Like we mentioned, Chuck has always been an avid sports player. He has got the physique and stamina to be one too.
Thanks to that, he got to play basketball for the Police Athletic League.
Likewise, the sports prodigy was born in the year 1939, which makes him 81 years old.
On top of that, he celebrates his birthday every year on the 26th of February. Also, his zodiac sign happens to be Pisces.
The former boxer stands at the height of 6 feet 5 inches(191 cm) while he weighs around 101 kgs.
Though the body measurements are unknown, there is no denying he has got an athletic physique.
In addition to that, Wepner has dark brown eyes and short blonde hair.
Early Career As a Boxer- Professional Career
Right after his high school graduation, young Wepner joined the US Marines, where he gained a reputation as a boxer.
With the ability to withstand other boxers’ punches, Chuck even became a military champion.
As his tenure ended, Chuck then debuted as a professional boxer in 1964 and won the New York Golden Gloves Heavyweight Novice Championship.
In his amateur years, Chuck has a record of 16 wins and 0 losses. Now, that is commendable.
With his mammoth stamina and physique, Chuck was quickly making a name for himself as a boxer.
Moreover, his win against George Cooper in his first professional match brought him more limelight and attention.
Throughout the years, Wepner fought all over the states and defeated names like Rudy Pavesi, Jerry Tomasetti, and Ray Patterson.
Not to mention, he also suffered from back-to-back losses against Bob Stallings and Buster Mathis.
However, Chuck redeemed himself on April 28, 1967, where he won the first title, defeating Don McAteer with a fifth-round technical knockout.
The following year, he defeated Forest Ward down three consecutive times to a higher automatic stoppage.
Next year, he faced a rookie George Foreman at Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, the newbie crushed giant Chuck in the third round, winning via technical knockout.
Compared to that, he had a more gruesome and exciting match against fellow American boxer Randy Neumann.
On December 9, 1971, the fight that took place got him the title of the USA New Jersey State Heavyweight.
The two rivals met again on April 15, 1972, and back on March 8, 1974, at the Madison Square Garden. Likewise, the match ended with six rounds after Neumann was knocked out cold.
But the highlight match of his career has to be with the then WBC and WBA Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali.
Chuch challenged the titleholder Ali, and their event took place on March 24, 1975, at Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio.
Though Ali dominated most of the match, the 6’5″ giant knocked the World Champion in the ninth round.
But as expected, the legend Muhammed Ali got up and won the game with only seconds to spare.
Chuck Wepner- The Heavyweight Boxer Who Inspired ‘Rocky’
‘Rocky’ movie that started the franchise and put then-struggling actor Sylvester Stallone in the limelight was based on none other than Chuck Wepner.
Apparently, he was awe-struck by the fight between Muhammad Ali and Wepner.
“It was like a bolt of lightning from some Grek god in the sky, and, almost instantly, Wepner became the crowd favorite,” said Stallone.
“Suddenly, he went from being a complete joke to being somebody whom everybody watching could identify with- because everybody’s thinking,’Yes, I’d like to do that! I’d like to do the impossible, even if only for a moment, and be recognized for it- and have the crowd cheer.”
Soon Stallone put out the screenplay for ‘Rocky,’ the ultimate sports about an underdog boxer that would grab the Best Picture Academy Award. However, Stallone has denied many times that Wepner inspired the movie.
Chuck Wepner – Boxing Record
|Pedro Agosto||4 0 0||UD|
|1969-08-18||George Foreman||3 0 0||TKO|
|1969-06-22||Jose Roman||20 5 1||PTS|
|1969-04-28||Mike Bruce||7 19 2||PTS|
|1969-03-14||Roberto Davila||20 11 0||MD|
|1968-12-13||Jerry Tomasetti||15 6 0||TKO|
|1968-11-09||Mert Brownfield||9 12 0||MD|
|1968-09-26||Forest Ward||4 0 2||TKO|
|1968-05-20||Mike Bruce||7 12 1||PTS|
|1968-04-30||Eddie Vick||11 11 3||SD|
|1968-01-22||Clay Thomas||15 10 3||TKO|
|1967-11-27||Charlie Harris||1 2 1||TKO|
|1967-07-19||Jerry Tomasetti||8 4 0||TKO|
|1967-04-28||Don McAteer||19 8 2||TKO|
|1967-01-18||Lou Hicks||6 9 0||UD|
|1966-10-21||Dave Centi||11 9 0||PTS|
|1966-08-03||Johnny Deutsch||9 2 0||TKO|
|1966-04-06||Cleo Daniels||7 13 1||PTS|
|1966-02-22||Jerry Tomasetti||3 2 0||UD|
|1966-01-07||Buster Mathis||5 0 0||TKO|
|1965-10-19||Bob Stallings||7 5 0||SD|
|1965-03-23||Everett Copeland||2 7 2||PTS|
|1965-01-19||Ray Patterson||10 1 0||SD|
|1964-12-18||Jerry Tomasetti||3 1 0||UD|
|1964-10-27||Everett Copeland||1 6 1||PTS|
What Happened to Chuch Wepner? Where Is He Now?
The force of nature, Chuck proved to be a worthy opponent in every fight though he lost a few along the way.
On May 2, 1978, after his battle with rising star Scott Frank, Wepner announced his retirement from the field.
He ended his career with an impressive record of 51 fights with 35 wins, 17 wins by KO, 14 losses, and two draws.
Instead of indulging in other ventures, Chuck began abusing drugs. Because of it, Wepner was charged in November 1985 with four ounces of cocaine.
Similarly, he served 17 months in Northern State Prison, Newark, and another 20 months in New Jersey’s Intensive supervision program.
His drug addiction was also why he failed the audition as a sparring partner in Rocky II.
But the story with Stallone did not just end there. In 2003, Wepner, now a retired boxer, sued Sylvester Stallone for using his name in the promotion and Rocky franchise.
Besides Rocky, Chuck has been the subject of yet another 2016 biographical sports drama, Chuck. In the drama, Liev Schreiber portrayed his character and was well-received by the critics.
Moreover, Zach McGowan has been cast for the upcoming film, American Brawler. The documentary named ‘The Real Rocky’ was made and aired on ESPN on October 25, 2011.
Luckily, the matter was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed amount.
Likewise, since 2010, Wepner has been working with his third wife, Linda, in the liquor sales field for Majestic Wines and Spirits located in New Jersey, US.
What Is Chuck Wepner Net Worth?- Income and Salary
Chuck Wepner, the former American heavyweight boxer, has an estimated net worth of $400 thousand as of now.
Not to mention, most of his income comes from his earning as an American professional boxer.
One of the influential boxers in American history, he has received multiple awards. However, the star boxer has yet to disclose his total income and earnings, including his assets.
More On His Wife and Family- Personal Life
Unlike his professional career, Chuck’s married life has been through a series of drawbacks. Not to mention, he has been married thrice now.
Likewise, he was first married to Lorma Wepner, with whom he has two children, Charlene and Chuck Jr.
For some reason, the marriage did not work as the two parted ways. Then for his second marriage, Chuck married Phyllis Wepner and had a daughter named Kimberly.
But even his second marriage failed, and in 1995, for the third time, Wepner tied the knot with Linda Wepner. The two are still together and live in his hometown of Bayonne.
By its looks, the two seem to be going strong, and they are far from any rumors or controversies regarding their marriage.
Common Queries about Chuck Wepner
Where is Chuck Wepner from?
Chuck Wepner is from Bayonne, New Jersey, United States.
Is Chuck Wepner the real-life ‘Lucky’?
Yes, Chuck Wepner is the real life ‘Rocky Balboa’