Tag Archives: Chuck Wepner

Chuck Premiere in Bayonne May 12th 2017 is All Smiles and All Pride

 

Chuck Wepner and Linda Wepner with Stallone Impersonator
Chuck Wepner and Linda Wepner with Stallone Impersonator at Bayonne’s premiere of CHUCK at Frank’s Theater on May 12th, 2017 

 

By Joe Calamito 

Photos by Steve Mack 

I am certain that audiences all over the world are going to fall in love with the movie CHUCK  starring Liev Schreiber as Chuck Wepner and Naomi Watts as Chuck’s wife Linda. 

This movie is a tough, gritty, “other side of the tracks,” love story.

It combines boxing with romance, personal pain and triumph. 

It’s also about, loss, human error, redemption and pride.

CHUCK lets you see Wepner with his goodness (Never knew he wrote poetry), and his human frailty,  his run in with the law, his partying, his coming to grips with the man he should become.

Schreiber in his performance also makes you really like Chuck Wepner and what’s not to like, in real life Chuck Wepner is a likeable guy.

I first met  him  right after he fought Muhammad Ali in the mid- seventies and have run into him on many occasions  through the years, he always offers a big smile and a hello to  everyone  he meets.

So that is why at the Premiere of CHUCK at  Bayonne’s Frank Theater on Friday, May 12th family, friends and fans  of  Chuck Wepner joined together in his honor, and were proud of Bayonne’s favorite son.

Chest busting proud, wide smiles proud, back slapping proud.

 Bayonne  loves Chuck Wepner and perhaps after you watch the movie CHUCK  you will too, and feel  proud that Chuck Wepner got the shot  to fight Muhammad Ali and  the recognition he deserved for being the inspiration for the movie Rocky.

In reality, CHUCK the movie is letting the world know  “Chuck Wepner is the real Rocky.” The Everyman who beats the odds.

And that is a cause we all can get behind.

Here are some photos by Steve Mack from May 12th Premiere event of the movie Chuck in Bayonne 

Front Row Ray Greeves, Bruce Dillin, Chris Patella ,(Back Row )Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis far left with Linda Wepner, Stallone Impersonator, Champ Chuck Wepner, Assemblyman Nicholas A. Chiaravalloti at the Premiere of CHUCK at Frank’s Theater on May 12th, 2017 
Chuck and Linda Wepner
Chuck Wepner and his Wife Linda arrive for the premiere of CHUCK at Bayonne’s Frank Theater on May 12th, 2017
Chuck Premiere
Chuck Wepner with wife Linda addresses the audience at the premiere of CHUCK
also in photo Chris Patella
Family, friends and fans wait for the premiere of CHUCK to begin
Premiere of Chuck
Pirates greet Chuck Wepner with Bayone Mayor Jimmy Davis and Bruce Dillin at Otaiko Restaurant before the premiere of CHUCK
Chuck Premiere
Audience at Fank’s Theater Bayonne for premiere of CHUCK

To see more photos and read more about the movie Chuck go to: 

www.facebook.com/riverviewosbserver 

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ROCKY STAR Former Heavyweight Champ Chuck Wepner’s Life Now a Major Motion Picture

POSTER FOR “CHUCK”
Poster for Chuck
CHUCK WEPNER IN 2011
CHUCK WEPNER IN 2011

  Film Premieres in Bayonne at Frank Theatres, Friday, May 12

 “Sometimes life is like a movie; sometimes its better,” – Chuck Wepner as portrayed by Liev Schreiber in the new film, CHUCK

By Sally Deering

Like the Rocky character Sylvester Stallone created based on Chuck Wepner’s 1976 loss in the ring to Muhammad Ali, Chuck Wepner’s match with Ali has been a huge part of his life. Five years ago, the documentary The Real Rocky aired on PBS and coming up on Fri, May 12, CHUCK starring Liev Schreiber premieres at the Frank Theatres at South Cove Commons in Bayonne. Directed by Philippe Falardeau, the film follows Wepner’s life before and after his March 24, 1975 fight with Muhammad Ali. MAD MEN star Elizabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, and Ron Perlman co-star; and according to IMDB, CHUCK’s writing credits go to Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl, Michael Cristofer and Liev Schreiber.

Leiv Schriber as Chuck Wepner

Live Schreiber as Chuck Wepner in the new

film CHUCK Continue reading ROCKY STAR Former Heavyweight Champ Chuck Wepner’s Life Now a Major Motion Picture

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NEW JERSEY HALL FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY MAY 7th, 2017

NJ HALL OF FAME Chuck wepner hall of fame NJ Hall of fame inductee Ray Liota NJ hall of fame inductee Kelly RippaNJ hall of fame inductee Wycliff Jean NJ hall of fame inductee Connie Chung
Asbury Park, New Jersey — The New Jersey Hall of Fame will induct 15 new honorees at this year’s Induction Ceremony on May 7, 2017, at historic Convention Hall on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.
The distinguished Class of 2016 includes:
  • ARTS & LETTERS: Author Carol Higgins Clark and news anchor Connie Chung.
  • ENTERPRISE: Businessman Alfred Koeppe and founder of NY Waterway Arthur Imperatore, Sr.
  • PERFORMING ARTS: Singer, composer, actress, entertainer, and publisher Connie Francis, actress and TV personality Kelly Ripa, actor Ray Liotta, pop-rock musician Tommy James, and rapper Wyclef Jean of The Fugees.
  • PUBLIC SERVICE: Non-denominational spiritual teacher and activist Peace Pilgrim and United States Army officer Philip Kearny.
  • SPORTS: Professional soccer midfielder Carli Lloyd, former President and General Manager of the WNBA New York Liberty Carol Blazejowski, heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner, and NFL Pro-bowler Rosey Grier.
  • UNSUNG HERO: To be announced.

Continue reading NEW JERSEY HALL FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY MAY 7th, 2017

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LORD OF THE RING-Bayonne native Bobby Rooney reflects on 30+Years in Boxing  

by Darren Paltrowitz

Bobby Rooney Boxer
Bobby Rooney boxes Toris “The Bull” Brewer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobby Rooney has been in charge of the Bayonne Police Athletic League’s Boxing Club for almost a decade. Prior to taking over the Bayonne PAL program from his father, professional boxer Bob Rooney, Sr., who ran it for more than 30 years, Bobby Rooney was a professional fighter. He went pro in 2003, winning the WBF Continental Light Heavyweight Title in 2009, and finishing with a win-loss record of 12-3; 7 of his 12 victories were knock-outs, 4 of the victories against previously-undefeated boxers.

Terry Young and Coach Bobby Rooney
Coach Bobby Rooney with Robert Terry

Rooney’s work with the Bayonne PAL often has him rubbing elbows with top talent, and not been by coincidence. His father was a sparring partner with Chuck Wepner – the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky – who often offers assistance to the Bayonne PAL. Robert Terry is a recent success story of the program, competing at the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City last  month. Continue reading LORD OF THE RING-Bayonne native Bobby Rooney reflects on 30+Years in Boxing  

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Boxing Legend Chuck Wepner “The Real Rocky” interview with Sally Deering of the River View Observer


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The Real “Rocky”

  Bayonne Boxing Champ Chuck Wepner – the real Rocky Balboa – Star of ESPN Documentary

 By Sally Deering

In this steveamack.com photo Chuck Wepner poses in front of a photo of his 1975 match with Muhammad Ali at the recent pre -screening at the Philadelphia Film Festival for his documentary "The Real Rocky."

At 72, Chuck Wepner of Bayonne stands 6’5”, weighs 250 lbs, has biceps like ropes of steel, and looks like he can still go a few rounds in the ring – even though it’s been 36 years since his match with Muhammad Ali for the World Heavyweight title.

In 1975, Wepner boxed 15 rounds with Ali and lost with a broken nose, cuts over his eyes and a bruised ego. But what the Bayonne boxer didn’t know was that an unknown named Sylvester Stallone was watching the fight on his TV set and three days later would write “Rocky” based on underdog Wepner. The film became a major hit in 1976 winning three Academy Awards and earning Stallone fame and fortune. Yo! Let’s not forget the sequels, too.

On Tues, Oct 25 at 8 p.m., “The Real Rocky” a documentary about Wepner’s life as a championship boxer and the story behind his bout with Ali airs on ESPN. (It also airs Wed, Oct 26 at 11 p.m. and Sat, Nov. 26 at 7:30 a.m. on ESPN2.)  And a film based on Wepner’s amazing story is in pre-production and will star Liev Schreiber as Wepner.

The one-hour documentary is directed by Jeff Feuerzeig, an award-winning director whose feature film “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” won top documentary directing honors at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.  On ESPN.go.com, Feuerzeig, who grew up in New Jersey, explained his inspiration for making the Wepner documentary.

“ I’ve been a Chuck Wepner fan ever since 1975, when I was 10 years old and my father took my brother and me to Sports Night at the Raritan High School gymnasium in Hazlet to see Chuck, aka ‘The Bayonne Bleeder,’ just months before he was set to go up against Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title,” Feuerzeig told ESPN. “There were no figures who loomed larger in this 10 year-old’s imagination than Evel Knievel, Andre the Giant and, especially, Muhammad Ali – “The Greatest” – and here was a 6-foot-5 behemoth (Wepner) in a full-length fur coat…and ridiculous amount of jewelry leading us in a chant of ‘Who’s gonna beat Ali? WEPNER!’ And in that instant, Chuck Wepner became a real-life mythological figure — as real to me as the Jersey Devil that haunted the local Pine Barrens.” Continue reading Boxing Legend Chuck Wepner “The Real Rocky” interview with Sally Deering of the River View Observer

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