BOBSERVATIONS

BOBSERVATIONS

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RANDOM RAMBLINGS OF A RELATIVELY 


SANE MIND



FROM ROBERT D FLACH - 


THE INTERNET'S WANDERING TAX PRO

JANUARY 20, 2020


THE BAYONNE BLEEDER


Recently a member of a Jersey City Facebook group posted a picture of Chuck "the Bayonne Bleeder" Wepner, who was, surprisingly to me, Sylvester Stallone's "inspiration" for the character of Rocky Balboa.


Wepner’s claim to fame was a title bout with Mohammed Ali back in 1975.


Wepner was a liquor salesman in Hudson County NJ. We could always tell when he was making a call at Kilbride’s Bar, next to our office on Sip Avenue off Journal Square in Jersey City. His station wagon was detailed with a small red line along each side that ended in a pair of boxing gloves. And I think he had a boxing-related vanity plate, thought I don’t recall what it was.


I remember the week-end before the fight with Ali. I was at Jimmy Byrnes’ Sea Girt Inn with friends from college with whom I shared a summer home in Belmar. Wepner was there and drunk, and got up on the stage between band sets and bragged about how he was going to beat Ali. As I recall his reference to Ali included some racial slurs.


The night of the fight I watched along with friends at Narrowback’s Bar on the Boulevard in the Heights section of Jersey City.


Here is a story I heard shortly after the fight. It was so long ago I don’t remember the source -


Wepner bragged all week to everyone, including his wife, that he was going to beat Ali. As he left for the Richfield Coliseum on the morning of the fight, he told his wife - “Honey, tonight you’re going to be sleeping with the champ.”


After the fight was over, with a not surprising conclusion, as Wepner was sulking in his dressing room his wife came in and asked him -.


“Is Ali going to send a car for me, or should I meet him at the hotel?”


An aside to my friend and client Aditi Kinkhabwala, reporter for the NFL cable network and frequent co-host of the CBS Sports Network's "We Need to Talk", this is my only sports story.