Synopsis: Chuck Wepner, the "Bayonne Bleeder," he was the pride of Bayonne, New Jersey, a man who went fifteen rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali, and the real life inspiration for Rocky Balboa. But before all that, Chuck Wepner was a liquor salesman and father with a modest prizefighting career whose life changed overnight when, in 1975, he was chosen to take on The Greatest in a highly publicized title match. It's the beginning of a wild ride through the exhilarating highs and humbling lows of sudden fame-but what happens when your fifteen minutes in the spotlight are up?
Director(s): Philippe Falardeau
Production: IFC Films
Rotten Tomatoes:
98 min


My name is Chuck Wepner.

You don't know me.

Well, you do know me,

but you don't know you know me.

Once upon a time, I was

the heavyweight champ of New Jersey.

They called me the Bayonne Bleeder.

I always hated that name,

but for some reason, it stuck.

Hoboken had Sinatra, Bayonne had me.

Chuck f***in' Wepner!

I swear, this might be

the proudest day in my entire life.

It's like Christmas and All Saints' Day

rolled into one.

John, you know who this guy is?

Yeah, I know who Arty is.

Did you know Arty invented

the wet T-shirt contest?

- What?

- I sh*t you not.

No, Arty Stock, no wet nip. Period.

That was you?

Hey, I was just trying to sell some booze

without getting shut down,

if you know what I mean.

That's genius right there,

that's what that is.

Hey, no, Champ. You...

- What?

- You're a legend.

To legends.

I made a name for myself

by doing a lot of crazy sh*t.

Not all of it's true, but this part is.

In this corner, the former

New Jersey heavyweight champion,

the man who went 15 rounds

with Muhammad Ali, okay?

The pride of Bayonne, Chuck Wepner!

And in this corner,

you know him from his

Hollywood movie, Paint Your Wagon,

his many Tonight Show appearances,

he's undefeated in 1,303 bouts.

It's Victor!

- All right, nothing to the face, okay?

- Did you tell him that?

No face.

Let's go!

For me, it was always about

putting on a show.

Even when I was a kid, growing up in Bayonne,

me and my brother Don

were a couple of real clowns.

I was not really a fighter,

but this was Bayonne.

One way or another,

you were gonna end up fighting.

In 1954, Malphy Esposito stole my basketball.

I didn't wanna do anything,

but he whacked me pretty good.

I may not be the greatest fighter

of all time, but what I learned that day...

Chuck. that I had a gift. I was special.

When you stop any guy in the street

and you ask him

who Chuck Wepner was, he'll tell ya,

"That guy could take a punch."

For a guy who wasn't really a fighter,

I was doing pretty good.

By 1974, I was flying up

the heavyweight ranks

and primed for a shot at the title

against "Big George" Foreman.

The only guy who stood in my way

was Terry Hinke, the Stormin' Mormon.

- Hey, Bleeder!

- What?

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go!

Sh*t. Bad?

Come on AI, let me see the cut.

Looks pretty bad.

All right, get the f*** out of this corner,

and don't bother me

while I'm working, all right?

Whatever we had to do, we did.

Al and I had an agreement, always

move forward and never stop the fight.

AI, let the doc see the cut.

Sure, have a look there.

- Yeah, he's good. He's good.

- Thanks, Doc.

They called Al "The Butcher,"

but it wasn't just him.

I wouldn't stop, either.

Besides, it wasn't his fault I bled so much.

I cannot close this f***in' cut.

It's time to send

this f***in' Mormon back to Utah.

- Are you with me?

- Yeah.

- All right, let's do it.

- Go.

You're on, Chuck. You're on. Hit him.

And the winner by knockout,

in two minutes and 18 seconds

of the 11th round,

and still the North American and

New Jersey heavyweight champion,

Chuck Wepner!

Hey, baby.

Daddy, were you boxing again?

Yeah, as a matter of fact, I was.

Is that why your face looks so funny?

No, sweetheart.

Daddy's face always looks funny.

The other guy was just trying to

spruce it up for me a bit.

Come here, give me some sugar.

Come on, Kimby. It's 8:00.

You gotta eat your breakfast. Go. Go, go, go.

Bye, Daddy.

Come here, let me look at you.

I'm all right.

Come here, baby.

- Let me see.

- It's my ribs.

Chuck, you look terrible.

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Jeff Feuerzeig

Jeff Feuerzeig (born 1964) is an American film director and screenwriter best known for The Devil and Daniel Johnston, his profile of cult musician and outsider artist Daniel Johnston, for which he was awarded the Directing prize for Documentary at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and which was released theatrically in March 2006 by Sony Pictures Classics. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Chuck" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 14 Aug. 2022. <>.

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