Many believe the inspiration behind Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky character was former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano, but that isn’t the case.
“I took the last of my entertainment money and went to see the Ali-Wepner fight on closed circuit TV. Chuck Wepner (pictured right), a battling, bruising club fighter who had never made the big time, was having his shot. It wasn't at all regarded as a serious battle. But as the fight progressed, this miracle unfolded. He hung in there,” Stallone explained. “People went absolutely crazy. Wepner was knocked out in the 15th and final round, almost lasting the distance. We had witnessed an incredible triumph of the human spirit and we loved it. That night, Rocky Balboa was born." —XFINITY Entertainment Staff
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