Actor Liev Schreiber stars in a new sports movie,”Chuck”.
It was 1974, and Chuck Wepner was the heavyweight champion of New Jersey. When he wasn’t in the ring, Wepner sold liquor on the mean streets of Jersey- and sometimes Chuck’s unique skill set with his fists proved useful for a little work on the side to pick up extra cash.
Known as the Bayonne Bleeder – being a competitive fighter at this level wasn’t quite what you’d call “glamorous, but everyone has a dream.
Wepner and Muhammad Ali went glove to glove in Cleveland in 1974. The night they fought, a young actor named Sylvester Stallone watched the fight on closed circuit TV, and inspiringly wrote a screen play about a nobody boxer named Rocky Balboa, who receives a million to one opportunity to fight for the heavyweight title.
Chuck initially thought he was famous after surviving 15 rounds with Ali, but that was nothing compared to when Rocky came out. Wepner quickly attained genuine hero status as the real-life inspiration for Stallone’s script.
Brad Cesmat went to Santa Monica to sit down with Schreiber about his role as “Chuck”. The movie starts Friday May 5th.