Just a little post about the power of believing in yourself.
The Bayonne Bleeder
You have to believe in yourself so strongly that you are willing to bank on it.
Chuck Wepner never learned this lesson. As a boxer he earned the name “the Bayonne Bleeder”, due to the punishment he took even while winning. In the boxing world he was what was called a “catcher” a fighter that uses his head to block the other guy’s punches…..Wepner continually pressured his opponent until he either won or got knocked out. He never cared how many shots he had to absorb until he could deliver a knockout blow to his opponent. His trainer Al Braverman called him, “The gutsiest fighter I ever met. He was in a league of his own. He didn’t care about pain or embarrassment. If he got cut or elbowed he never looked at me or the referee for help. He was a fighter in the purest sense of the word.”
When Wepner knocked out Terry Henke in the 11th round in Salt Lake City, promoter Don King offered Wepner a title shot against then heavyweight champion George Forman. But when Ali defeated Forman, Wepner found himself scheduled to fight ‘The Greatest’. Mohammed Ali!!
On the morning of the fight Wepner gave his wife a pink negligée and told her she would soon be sleeping with the Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Ali scored a technical knockout with only 19 seconds remaining in the fight. But there was one moment, one glorious moment in the ninth round when a ham-like paw to Ali’s chest knocked the reigning champion off his feet. Wepner recalled, “When Ali was down I remember saying to my ring man Al Braverman, ‘Start the car we’re going to the bank, we’re millionaires!!’ and Al said to me, ‘You’d better turn around…..because he is getting up….’
After the fight, Wepner’s wife pulled the negligee out of her purse and asked, “Do I go to Ali’s room or does he come to mine?”
That story would be nothing more than an odd boxing footnote except for the fact that a struggling writer was watching the fight. Suddenly it struck him, “there it is!” he said to himself. So he went home and started writing and he wrote for three days straight.
That is how writer and actor Sylvester Stallone described the birth of the Academy Award winning movie Rocky.
The movie studio offered the struggling writer an unprecedented $400,000 for his script. But Stallone refused the money, choosing instead just $20,000 and the right to play the part of Rocky for actor’s minimum wage, a paltry $340 per week. He felt strongly that this script and part would catapult him to fame and fortune. He was right.
The studio also made an offer to Wepner since the movie was based on his life. He could receive a flat fee of $70,000 or 1% of the movies gross profits. Wanting the guaranteed payday, Wepner took the $70,000, a decision that ultimately cost him $8,000,000.00………
Chuck Wepner retired to Bayonne, NJ and worked as a liquor salesman.
The moral of the story? A few of things I guess……..
1. Marry someone with a good sense of humor.
2. You never know what your individual efforts will lead to or what results will come from your hard work.
3. Be willing to bank on yourself.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!