Question: Who is the only man on the planet to fight Muhammad Ali, Andre the Giant and a real grizzly bear (and inspire a movie franchise worth a billion dollars)?
Answer: New Jersey's own Chuck Wepner, aka "The Bayonne Bleeder."
The "Real Rocky" is Chuck Wepner -- a liquor salesman from Bayonne, N.J., who drives a Cadillac with "Champ" vanity plates. A former New Jersey state heavyweight boxing champion, he was christened with the nickname "The Bayonne Bleeder" for the abuse he suffered at the hands of Sonny Liston. In 1975, Wepner fought Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title. In the 15th round, Ali knocked out Wepner after breaking his nose and opening cuts over both eyes. Sylvester Stallone wrote a screenplay, and starred in and won three Academy Awards (including best picture) for the film "Rocky," based on Wepner's gutsy challenge. 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 Kodiak bear. Twice. Using too-good-to-be-true footage, Jeff Feuerzeig ("The Devil and Daniel Johnston") and Mike Tollin will explore the colorful life and bloodied career of this unique New Jersey character in their 1-hour ESPN film.
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