Muhammad Ali, Chuck Wepner Put On Performance That Inspires ‘Rocky’ — March 24, 1975 (This Day In Boxing History)
The Oscar-winning film “Rocky” drew inspiration from a fight 47 years ago.
Despite being outmatched by heavyweight phenomenon Muhammad Ali, Chuck “Bayonne Bleeder” Wepner put up a rugged fight. Ali won by technically knocking out Wepner in the 15th and final round.
But Wepner was the first to score a knockdown.
In the ninth round, Wepner landed a right hand to Ali’s ribs, which sent the champion flat on his back. Later Ali claimed Wepner stepped on his foot, which video supports, but at the time, the moment was dramatic.
Ali fought back even harder against the worn-out New Jersey man for the next five rounds.
In the 15th round, he pounded on Wepner until he went down against the ropes. Wepner struggled to get up, and the referee waived off the fight.