Is "Rocky" based on a true story?
Wepner, who calls himself " The Real Rocky," had been a professional pugilist for many years when he challenged Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title in 1975. An ex-Marine, Wepner was asked before the fight if he thought he had a chance against the Greatest of All Time. Wepner allegedly answered, "I've been a survivor my whole life...if I survived the Marines, I can survive Ali."
In fact, Wepner did more than just survive. In the ninth round, he actually introduced Ali to the canvas. Wepner eventually lost, but he was the only fighter to ever knock down Ali while Ali was the champ.
Stallone watched the fight and soon went on to write "Rocky," the story of a down-and-out boxer who gets his shot at the heavyweight title and goes the distance against a boisterous and beloved champion.
Over the years, there's been some controversy as to whether Stallone owes Wepner any compensation. The two finally settled for undisclosed terms, effectively putting an end to the fight.
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