Bobby Rooney past away this week and in his honor we would like to rerun an article about him .
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.
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 â€“ the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky â€“ 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 Â →
Â Bayonne Boxing Champ Chuck Wepner â€“ the real Rocky Balboa â€“ Star of ESPN Documentary
Â By Sally Deering
At 72, Chuck Wepner of Bayonne stands 6â€™5â€, weighs 250 lbs, has biceps like ropes of steel, and looks like he can still go a few rounds in the ring â€“ even though itâ€™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 didnâ€™t know was that an unknown named Sylvester Stallone was watching the fight on his TV set and three days later would write â€œRockyâ€ based on underdog Wepner. The film became a major hit in 1976 winning three Academy Awards and earning Stallone fame and fortune. Yo! Letâ€™s not forget the sequels, too.
On Tues, Oct 25 at 8 p.m., â€œThe Real Rockyâ€ a documentary about Wepnerâ€™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.)Â And a film based on Wepnerâ€™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. Â On ESPN.go.com, Feuerzeig, who grew up in New Jersey, explained his inspiration for making the Wepner documentary.
â€œ 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 â€˜The Bayonne Bleeder,â€™ just months before he was set to go up against Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title,â€ Feuerzeig told ESPN. â€œThere were no figures who loomed larger in this 10 year-oldâ€™s imagination than Evel Knievel, Andre the Giant and, especially, Muhammad Ali â€“ â€œThe Greatest” â€“ and here was a 6-foot-5 behemoth (Wepner) in a full-length fur coatâ€¦and ridiculous amount of jewelry leading us in a chant of â€˜Who’s gonna beat Ali? WEPNER!â€™ 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.â€ Continue reading Boxing Legend Chuck Wepner “The Real Rocky” interview with Sally Deering of the River View Observer→
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