Chuck Wepner: “The Bleeder”

By Dennis Taylor on October 17, 2015
Chuck Wepner: “The Bleeder”
Chuck Wepner needed 72 stitches in his face after fighting Sonny Liston in Jersey City.

The Bayonne Bleeder will be the featured guest on The Ringside Boxing Show to share tales from his infamously gory boxing career…

The fighter who according to mythology prompted Sylvester Stallone to create “Rocky” has now inspired Hollywood to tell his own story in a major motion picture.

Chuck Wepner was a leathery, New Jersey heavyweight with limited skills, an undistinguished résumé, and a ring nickname that was more amusing than intimidating: “The Bayonne Bleeder.”

On Saturday night, Wepner and his wife, Linda, were planning to attend the Golovkin-Lemieux fight at Madison Square Garden alongside the actors who will portray them in “The Bleeder,” Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts.

On Sunday, the colorful Wepner will be the featured guest on The Ringside Boxing Show to share tales from his life and infamously gory boxing career (he needed 72 stitches in his face after fighting Sonny Liston), including the 15-round brawl with Muhammad Ali that made him an enduring part of boxing lore.

One oft-told story from that fight: When Wepner, a 40-1 underdog, decked the champ in the ninth round, he turned toward his trainer/manager, Al Braverman, and said, “Al, start the car. We’re going to the bank. We are millionaires.” To which Braverman responded, “Yeah, well, you better turn around, because he’s getting up … and he looks pissed off.”

“The Bleeder” reportedly is largely about Wepner trying to deal with the sudden fame he attained from the Ali fight, which led to a hard-partying lifestyle, and ultimately a prison term for cocaine possession. Production began this month.

The Ringside Boxing Show can be heard live, anywhere in the world, at every Sunday at 4 p.m. Pacific, 5 Mountain, 6 Central, 7 Eastern. Download the free “Tunein” app to listen on your smart phone.
Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of and host of The Ringside Boxing Show.

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  1. KB 07:18am, 10/19/2015

    Keep ‘em coming Joe

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:14am, 10/19/2015

    Joe Masterleo-You just boggled my mind…again….I love it!

  3. Joe Masterleo 05:12pm, 10/18/2015

    A girl becomes a woman when she bleeds, blood being the central hallmark and mystery of her rite of passage.  So as not be be excluded from the mystery, grueling sports and warfare are the male equivalent of same. “The life of the soul is in the blood,” says the Good Book.  It is for that reason that the the shedding of blood for the atonement/remission of sins (mortality) is central in the movement or passage toward the eternal (immortality) in the Judeo-Christian tradition, both Old Testament and New.  In that sense, Christ was the ultimate champion, having defeated death via death.  .  .shedding his blood en route.

  4. KB 01:14pm, 10/18/2015

    What was Joe’s other famous line. Something about a toilet or sewer or turd or all of the above?

  5. Clarence George 12:14pm, 10/18/2015

    I never heard of the Male Menstruation Argument (which brings whole new meaning to MMA).  Frankly, I would have gone contentedly to my grave without ever having heard of it.

  6. KB 10:42am, 10/18/2015

    Thanks for sharing. Jesus Christ in Heaven

  7. Robert Ecksel 09:55am, 10/18/2015

    “Bloody male menstruation rituals”?!? Jesus H. Christ. How did I not think of that?

  8. Joe Masterleo 05:44am, 10/18/2015

    Wepner remains the best argument that grueling sports, boxing in particular, are little more than bloody male menstruation rituals.

  9. gordon analla 03:57pm, 10/17/2015

    I remember reading “The Ring” magazine story on his fight with a prospect named Forest Ward, whom Chuck defeated.  He also beat Manuel Ramos who was a contender.

  10. Eric 02:33pm, 10/17/2015

    Chuck Wepner vs Jack O’Halloran or Chuck Wepner vs Scott Ledoux would have been a natural back in the day. Ron Stander vs Chuck Wepner? Prime Wepner vs. prime Tex Cobb?

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:23am, 10/17/2015

    I will tune in but I’m still waiting for you to dial up some of the writers on this site who have forgotten more about the subject matter at hand than 99% of the writers on most of the other sites will ever know…. including ESPN… better get them before they forget it all…..just sayin’.

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