Heavyweight slugger Chuck Wepner, who is most famous for two things: his (almost) 15-round fight with Muhammad Ali and his part in inspiring the Rocky movies. Now, in “The Bleeder,” the 75 year old gets some more movie treatment; and this time the biographical flick is of the non fiction variety.
Played by Liev Schrieber, Wepner – who also faced Sonny Liston and George Foreman during his long and often cut-prone career – is said to like the film and fans are hoping for a fitting tribute to one of heavyweight history’s great survivors.
Schrieber is said to have “Taken 800 real punches” during the making of the film, in the interest of authenticity, and the action along with the real-life story of Wepner’s long and happy relationship with his wife Linda (played by naomi watts) should be compelling viewing.
Wepner was no great fighter but he was tough, he was game and he fought durung a golden era. Wepner had a great sense of humour, too – his famous story of telling his wife, before the Ali fight, that she would be sleeping with the world champ later that night in 1975. Later, after he had taken a beating from “The greatest,” Linda asked if ali would be coming to her room or should she go to his!
Chuck has shared this story many times over the years, along with many other anecdotes, and for older fans there may not be too much new stuff in “The bleeder.”
But for yoinger fans, the Wepner story should prove interesting and a whole lot of fun. Just like Wepner’s ring career was.