Millions watched a movie. One man lived it.
Chuck Wepner is a liquor salesman from Bayonne, N.J., who drives a Cadillac with “Champ” vanity plates. A former New Jersey State Heavyweight Boxing Champion, he took abuse from Sonny Liston, got his nose broken by Muhammad Ali, and inspired Sylvester Stallone to write “Rocky” which won three Academy Awards. Wepner was left out of the “Rocky” glory, and his career took turn after strange turn as he worked to stay in the spotlight: he went on to fight Andre the Giant as “The Assassin” and boxed a 900 pound bear. Twice.