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City of Bayonne to Unveil Chuck Wepner Statue on Saturday, November 12

Chuck wepner hall of fame

Statue to Honor the Real-Life Rocky

          Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that the City of Bayonne will unveil a statue of Bayonne boxing legend Chuck Wepner on Saturday, November 12, at 12:00 noon, in Dennis P. Collins Park.  The event will take place on 1st Street between Avenue C and Zabriskie Avenue.  Various public officials will attend the ceremony. The event is open to the public. Mayor Davis said, “The City of Bayonne is very proud of Chuck Wepner.  We are very happy that he will be with us in person on November 12 to enjoy the long-awaited unveiling of the statue, which is sure to become a very popular attraction in Dennis P. Collins Park.”

          Bayonne businessman Bruce Dillin spearheaded the effort to raise funds for the completion of the statue.  Zhen Wu, a Chinese-born artist and Bayonne resident, made the 2,500 lb. statue.  It took him six months to mold the clay which was then cast in bronze.  The semi-retired Wu made the statue at no cost to the City of Bayonne.  He donated his time to making the Wepner statue. Dillin raised funds privately to complete the project.

          Wepner’s professional boxing career lasted from 1964 to 1978.  He won 35 matches (including 17 knockouts), lost 14, and had 2 draws.  Wepner held the USA New Jersey Heavyweight title and the National Americas Heavyweight title.  In one of his most famous matches, Wepner was 19 seconds short of a full fifteen rounds with Muhammed Ali in 1975. 

Wepner was the inspiration for the leading character in the Rocky movies.

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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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