You can count former Heavyweight title challenger and the inspiration to Academy Award-winning movie “Rocky”, Check Wepner, as a huge fan of Manny Pacquiao.
“I love Manny Pacquiao,” Wepner told me this week. “I mean, Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters of all time. And I think it would be one HELLUVA fight if they ever get it together between Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather. Mayweather just fights much bigger than his weight, he fights like a middleweight and he’s so tough to beat. I think it will be a great fight. If it ever comes off, I’ll be there to watch it, that’s for sure.”
I don’t often hear former fighters speak in such reverential terms of the current generation of boxers, so I ask Chuck what is it about Pacquiao that evokes him to say he loves him?
“He’s a warrior. He comes to fight,” says the man who scored a knockdown of Muhammad Ali and almost went the full 15 rounds with ‘The Greatest’ in their classic 1975 clash in Cleveland, Ohio. “The guy (Pacquiao) is not a fancy dandy. He doesn’t run, he doesn’t hold, he gets in there, the bell rings and he comes right at you. And that’s the kind of fighter I was. I was never a great fighter or had great, outstanding talent. I was just a tough guy. I was always in great shape. And I had to be an aggressive fighter. And that’s what Pacquiao is. Except, he has great talent too.”