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doomeddisciple
11-24-2006, 04:22 AM
From fightnews.com

Willie Pep passes
Ring legend Willie Pep passed away on Thursday at the West Hill Convalescent Home in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, according to the Hartford Courant. Pep, a two-time world featherweight champion, was 84. In his prime, the Hall of Famer was one of the greatest defensive boxers who ever lived . . . . Fightnews extends our sympathies to Willie's family. Services are pending.

Respect and a quiet ale in your honour tonight from me Willie.

dmt
11-24-2006, 05:21 AM
R.i.p champ

Roberto Aqui
11-24-2006, 06:31 AM
I'd heard about Pep since the first days of when I started to follow this sport. That's amazing since the little guys are almost always overshadowed by the big ones.

God Bless, he was an inspiration in his fashion. He may hold the record for the most professional rounds in the ring.

KOJOE90
11-24-2006, 06:48 AM
A true master of his art.

Rest In Peace Champ.

TKO Tom
11-24-2006, 09:55 AM
I'm sad hear about about Willie Pep, but he has been in failing health for a long time. He's been suffering in the mental department for a while now as near as I can tell.

I met him at the Hall of Fame in 2000 and he was not in good shape then. He was being chaperoned around by a younger woman who was very attractive. Perhaps it was his daughter, I'm not sure. I was sitting right beside him at the Turning Stone Casino during the fights they hold there as part of the induction weekend.

Some fans came up to Pep during a break in the action and asked for an autograph. Willie looked at them with a vacant gaze and said, "Leave me alone! I'm just an old man!"

You could tell by looking at him that he had little idea what was going on or where he was.

On another note, I think tonight that I'll pop in a tape of him versus Sandy Saddler. If you want action and you want real, honest to goodness fighting - you've got it in those fights.

RIP to Willie Pep - one of the all-time greats of all-times and a true, honest to god, genuine boxing legend and icon.

TKS

Barrabas
11-24-2006, 11:19 AM
R.i.p. The World Of Boxing Is In Great Pain!!

Dan1213
11-24-2006, 11:37 AM
From the Boston Globe

WILLIE PEP
November 24, 2006 - Former featherweight champion Willie Pep, whose simple fight philosophy was "Hit the other guy as often as you can but don't let him hurt you," died Thursday, November 23, 2006. He was 84. Pep, who became a champion at age 20, died in a convalescent home in Rocky Hill, eight miles south of Hartford, grandson William P. Papaleo said. Pep had been confined to an Alzheimer unit since 2001.The wiry, right-handed two-time world featherweight champion held the title from 1942-48 and from 1949-50. He turned pro in 1940 and amassed a record of 230-11-1 with 65 KOs when he retired in 1966 at age 43.In 1999, Pep was listed fifth among the best fighters of the 20th century as chosen by a five-member panel for The Associated Press.Born Guglielmo Papoleo on Sept. 19, 1922, in Middletown, Pep became one of boxing's all-time greats. Nicknamed "Will o' the Wisp" for his elusiveness, the 5-foot-6-inch Pep held the featherweight title for six years.Ring historians recall Pep's alley-fighting style. He wasn't a fancy boxer, but could punch equally hard with both hands. And he was most dangerous when he was hurt.He is best remembered for his physical, four-fight series against fellow Hall-of-Famer Sandy Saddler.Pep won the first 63 fights of his career. He was barely 20 when he beat Chalky Wright in a decision in 1942 to win the featherweight title, becoming the youngest champion in 40 years. The following year brought 63 undefeated bouts for Pep before he lost a non-title fight to Sammy Angott. Undeterred, Pep went on to win another 73 successive fights. He lost the title in October 1948 to Saddler on a fourth-round knockout, setting up a rivalry for the ages.Four months later Pep and Saddler squared off in Madison Square Garden. Intent on revenge, Pep relied on his quickness to outrun Saddler for 15 rounds. Bloodied, but not beaten, Pep scored a unanimous decision to became the first boxer in the history of the 126-pound class to regain a lost championship. Saddler regained the title in 1950 with an eighth-round knockout. They met once more in 1951 and Saddler won again, this time with a knockout in the ninth round.Pep retired in 1959, although he was back in the ring six years later. His nine-fight winning streak was interrupted by a knockout by Calvin Woodward in 1966, and Pep hung up his gloves for good.

Dan1213
11-24-2006, 11:39 AM
Willie Pep

Alias Will o' the Wisp
Birth Name Guglielmo Papaleo
Country US American
Hometown Hartford, CT, USA
Division Featherweight
Born 1922-09-19
Died 2006-11-23
Stance Orthodox
Height 165
Manager Lou Viscusi


Career Record © www.boxrec.com

Date Opponent Location Result
1940-07-03 James McGovern Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 4
1940-07-25 Joey Marcus Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 4
1940-08-08 Joey Wasnick Hartford, CT, USA W KO 3
1940-08-29 Tommy Burns Hartford, CT, USA W KO 1
1940-09-05 Joey Marcus New Britain, CT, USA W PTS 6
1940-09-19 Jack Moore Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 6
1940-10-03 Jimmy Riche Waterbury, CT, USA W KO 3
1940-10-24 Jimmy McAllister New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 4
1940-11-22 Carlo Daponde New Britain, CT, USA W KO 6
1940-11-29 Frank Topazio New Britain, CT, USA W KO 5
1940-12-06 Jim Mutane New Britain, CT, USA W KO 2
1941-01-28 Augie Almeda New Haven, CT, USA W KO 6
1941-02-03 Joe Echevarria Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 6
1941-02-10 Don Lyons Holyoke, MA, USA W KO 2
1941-02-17 Ruby Garcia Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 6
1941-03-03 Ruby Garcia Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 6
1941-03-25 Marty Shapiro Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 6
1941-03-31 Joey Gatto Holyoke, MA, USA W KO 2
1941-04-14 Henry Vasquez Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 6
1941-04-22 Joey Silva Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 6
1941-05-06 Lou Pugliese Hartford, CT, USA W KO 2
1941-05-12 Johnny Cockfield Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 6
1941-06-24 Eddie DeAngelis Hartford, CT, USA W KO 3
1941-07-15 Jimmy Gilligan Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1941-08-01 Harry Hintlian Manchester, CT, USA W PTS 6
1941-08-05 Blond Tiger Hartford, CT, USA W KO 3
1941-08-12 Eddie Flores Thompsonville, CT, USA W KO 1
1941-09-26 Jackie Harris New Haven, CT, USA W KO 1
1941-10-10 Carlos Manzano New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 8
1941-10-22 Connie Savoie Hartford, CT, USA W KO 2
1941-11-07 Buddy Spencer Hollywood, CA, USA W PTS 4
1941-11-24 Davey Crawford Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 8
1941-12-12 Ruby Garcia New York, NY, USA W PTS 4
1942-01-08 Mexican Joe Rivers Fall River, MA, USA W KO 4
1942-01-16 Sammy Parrota New York, NY, USA W PTS 4
1942-01-27 Abie Kaufman Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-02-10 Angelo Callura Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-02-24 Willie Roache Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-03-18 Johnny Compo New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-04-14 Spider Armstrong Hartford, CT, USA W KO 4
1942-05-04 Curley Nichols New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-05-12 Aaron Seltzer Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-05-26 Joey Iannotti Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1942-06-23 Joey Archibald Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1942-07-21 Abe Denner Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 12
1942-08-01 Joey Silva Waterbury, CT, USA W TKO 7
1942-08-10 Pedro Hernandez Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1942-08-20 Nat Litfin West Haven, CT, USA W PTS 10
1942-09-01 Bobby Ivy Hartford, CT, USA W TKO 10
1942-09-10 Frank Franconeri New York, NY, USA W TKO 1
1942-09-22 Vince Dell'Orto Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1942-10-05 Bobby McIntire Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 10
1942-10-16 Joey Archibald Providence, RI, USA W UD 10
1942-10-27 George Zengaras Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1942-11-20 Chalky Wright New York, NY, USA W UD 15
NYSAC World Featherweight Title
1942-12-14 Jose Aponte Torres Washington, DC, USA W KO 7
1942-12-21 Joey Silva Jacksonville, FL, USA W TKO 9
1943-01-04 Vince Dell'Orto New Orleans, LA, USA W PTS 10
1943-01-19 Bill Speary Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1943-01-29 Allie Stolz New York, NY, USA W PTS 10
1943-02-11 Davey Crawford Boston, MA, USA W PTS 10
1943-02-15 Bill Speary Baltimore, MD, USA W PTS 10
1943-03-02 Lou Transparenti Hartford, CT, USA W KO 6
1943-03-19 Sammy Angott New York, NY, USA L PTS 10
1943-03-29 Bobby McIntire Detroit, MI, USA W UD 10
1943-04-09 Sal Bartolo Boston, MA, USA W SD 10
1943-04-19 Angel Aviles Tampa, FL, USA W PTS 10
1943-04-26 Jackie Wilson Pittsburgh, PA, USA W PTS 12
1943-06-08 Sal Bartolo Boston, MA, USA W UD 15
NYSAC World Featherweight Title
1944-04-04 Leo Francis Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1944-04-20 Snooks Lacey New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 10
1944-05-01 Jackie Leamus Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 10
1944-05-19 Frankie Rubino Chicago, IL, USA W PTS 10
1944-05-23 Joey Bagnato Buffalo, NY, USA W KO 2
1944-06-06 Julie Kogon Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1944-07-07 Willie Joyce Chicago, IL, USA W PTS 10
1944-07-17 Manuel Ortiz Boston, MA, USA W PTS 10
1944-08-04 Lulu Costantino Waterbury, CT, USA W PTS 10
1944-08-28 Joey Peralta West Springfield, MA, USA W PTS 10
1944-09-19 Charley Cabey Lewis Hartford, CT, USA W TKO 8
1944-09-29 Chalky Wright New York, NY, USA W UD 15
NYSAC World Featherweight Title
1944-10-25 Jackie Leamus Montreal, QC, Canada W UD 10
1944-11-14 Charley Cabey Lewis Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1944-11-27 Pedro Hernandez Washington, DC, USA W PTS 10
1944-12-05 Chalky Wright Cleveland, OH, USA W UD 10
1945-01-23 Ralph Walton Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1945-02-05 Willie Roache New Haven, CT, USA W UD 10
1945-02-19 Phil Terranova New York, NY, USA W UD 15
NYSAC World Featherweight Title
1945-10-30 Paulie Jackson Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 8
1945-11-05 Mike Martyk Buffalo, NY, USA W TKO 5
1945-11-26 Eddie Giosa Boston, MA, USA W PTS 10
1945-12-05 Harold Gibson Lewiston, ME, USA W PTS 10
1945-12-13 Jimmy McAllister Baltimore, MD, USA D PTS 10
1946-01-15 Johnny Virgo Buffalo, NY, USA W KO 2
1946-02-13 Jimmy Joyce Buffalo, NY, USA W PTS 10
1946-03-01 Jimmy McAllister New York, NY, USA W KO 2
1946-03-26 Jackie Wilson Kansas City, MO, USA W UD 10
1946-04-08 Georgie Knox Providence, RI, USA W KO 3
1946-05-06 Ernie Petrone New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 10
1946-05-13 Joey Angelo Providence, RI, USA W PTS 10
1946-05-22 Jose Aponte Torres St. Louis, MO, USA W UD 10
1946-05-27 Jimmy Joyce Minneapolis, MN, USA W PTS 8
1946-06-07 Sal Bartolo New York, NY, USA W KO 12
1946-07-10 Harold Gibson Buffalo, NY, USA W TKO 7
1946-07-25 Jackie Graves Minneapolis, MN, USA W TKO 8
1946-08-26 Doll Rafferty Milwaukee, WI, USA W KO 6
1946-09-04 Walter Kolby Buffalo, NY, USA W KO 5
1946-09-17 Lefty LaChance Hartford, CT, USA W TKO 3
1946-11-01 Paulie Jackson Minneapolis, MN, USA W PTS 10
1946-11-15 Tomas Beato Waterbury, CT, USA W KO 2
1946-11-27 Chalky Wright Milwaukee, WI, USA W KO 3
1947-06-17 Victor Flores Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1947-07-01 Joey Fortuna Albany, NY, USA W KO 5
1947-07-08 Leo LeBrun Norwalk, CT, USA W PTS 8
1947-07-11 Jean Barriere North Adams, MA, USA W KO 4
1947-07-15 Paulie Jackson New Bedford, MA, USA W PTS 10
1947-07-23 Humberto Sierra Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1947-08-22 Jock Leslie Flint, MI, USA W KO 12
1947-10-21 Jean Barriere Portland, ME, USA W KO 1
1947-10-27 Archie Wilmer Philadelphia, PA, USA W MD 10
1947-12-22 Alvaro Estrada Lewiston, ME, USA W UD 10
1947-12-30 Lefty LaChance Manchester, NH, USA W TKO 8
1948-01-06 Pedro Biesca Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1948-01-12 Jimmy McAllister St. Louis, MO, USA W PTS 10
1948-01-19 Joey Angelo Boston, MA, USA W UD 10
1948-02-24 Humberto Sierra Miami, FL, USA W TKO 10
1948-05-07 Leroy Willis Detroit, MI, USA W PTS 10
1948-05-19 Charley Cabey Lewis Milwaukee, WI, USA W PTS 10
1948-06-17 Miguel Acevedo Minneapolis, MN, USA W PTS 10
1948-06-25 Luther Burgess Flint, MI, USA W PTS 10
1948-07-28 Young Junior Utica, NY, USA W KO 1
1948-08-03 Teddy 'Redtop' Davis Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1948-08-17 Teddy 'Redtop' Davis Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1948-09-02 Johnny Dell Waterbury, CT, USA W TKO 8
1948-09-10 Paddy DeMarco New York, NY, USA W UD 10
1948-10-12 Chuck Burton Jersey City, NJ, USA W PTS 8
1948-10-19 Johnny LaRusso Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1948-10-29 Sandy Saddler New York, NY, USA L KO 4
1948-12-20 Hermie Freeman Boston, MA, USA W UD 10
1949-01-17 Teddy 'Redtop' Davis St. Louis, MO, USA W PTS 10
1949-02-11 Sandy Saddler New York, NY, USA W UD 15
1949-06-06 Luis Ramos New Haven, CT, USA W PTS 10
1949-06-14 Al Pennino Pittsfield, MA, USA W UD 10
1949-06-20 Johnny LaRusso West Springfield, MA, USA W PTS 10
1949-07-12 Jean Mougin Syracuse, NY, USA W UD 10
1949-09-20 Eddie Compo Waterbury, CT, USA W TKO 7
1949-12-12 Harold Dade St. Louis, MO, USA W PTS 10
1950-01-16 Charley Riley St. Louis, MO, USA W KO 5
1950-02-06 Roy Andrews Boston, MA, USA W PTS 10
1950-02-22 Jimmy Warren Miami, FL, USA W UD 10
1950-03-17 Ray Famechon New York, NY, USA W UD 15
1950-05-15 Art Llanos Hartford, CT, USA W KO 2
1950-06-01 Terry Young Milwaukee, WI, USA W UD 10
1950-06-26 Bobby Timpson Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1950-07-25 Bobby Bell Washington, DC, USA W UD 10
1950-08-02 Proctor Heinold Scranton, PA, USA W PTS 10
1950-09-08 Sandy Saddler Bronx, NY, USA L RTD 8
1951-01-30 Tommy Baker Hartford, CT, USA W TKO 4
1951-02-26 Billy Hogan Sarasota, FL, USA W KO 2
1951-03-05 Carlos Chavez New Orleans, LA, USA W UD 10
1951-03-26 Pat Iacobucci Miami Beach, FL, USA W UD 10
1951-04-17 Baby Neff Ortiz St. Louis, MO, USA W TKO 5
1951-04-27 Eddie Chavez San Francisco, CA, USA W PTS 10
1951-06-04 Jesus Compos Baltimore, MD, USA W PTS 10
1951-09-04 Corky Gonzales New Orleans, LA, USA W UD 10
1951-09-26 Sandy Saddler New York, NY, USA L RTD 9
1952-04-29 Santiago Gonzalez Tampa, FL, USA W UD 10
1952-05-05 Kenny Leach Columbus, GA, USA W PTS 10
1952-05-10 James Buddy Baggett Aiken, SC, USA W KO 5
1952-05-21 Claude Hammond Miami Beach, FL, USA W UD 10
1952-06-30 Tommy Collins Boston, MA, USA L TKO 6
1952-09-03 Billy Lima Pensacola, FL, USA W PTS 10
1952-09-11 Bobby Woods Vancouver, BC, Canada W PTS 10
1952-10-01 Armand Savoie Chicago, IL, USA W UD 10
1952-10-20 Billy Lima Jacksonville, FL, USA W UD 10
1952-11-05 Manny Castro Miami Beach, FL, USA W TKO 5
1952-11-19 Fabela Chavez St. Louis, MO, USA W UD 10
1952-12-05 Jorge Sanchez West Palm Beach, FL, USA W PTS 10
1953-01-19 Billy Lauderdale Nassau, Bahamas, The W UD 10
1953-01-27 Dave Mitchell Miami Beach, FL, USA W UD 10
1953-02-10 Jose Alvarez San Antonio, TX, USA W PTS 10
1953-03-31 Joey Gambino Tampa, FL, USA W UD 10
1953-04-07 Noel Paquette Miami Beach, FL, USA W PTS 10
1953-05-13 Jackie Blair Fort Worth, TX, USA W UD 10
1953-06-05 Pat Marcune New York, NY, USA W TKO 10
1953-11-21 Sonny Luciano Charlotte, NC, USA W UD 10
1953-12-04 Davey Allen West Palm Beach, FL, USA W PTS 10
1953-12-08 Billy Lima Houston, TX, USA W KO 2
1953-12-15 Tony Longo Miami Beach, FL, USA W UD 10
1954-01-19 Dave Seabrooke Jacksonville, FL, USA W PTS 10
1954-02-26 Lulu Perez New York, NY, USA L TKO 2
1954-07-24 Mike Tourcotte Mobile, AL, USA W UD 10
1954-08-18 Til LeBlanc Moncton, NB, Canada W UD 10
1954-11-01 Mario 'Eladio' Colon Daytona Beach, FL, USA W PTS 10
1955-03-11 Merrill Olmstead Bennington, VT, USA W PTS 10
1955-03-22 Charley Titone Holyoke, MA, USA W PTS 10
1955-03-30 Gil Cadilli Parks Air Force Base, CA, L SD 10
1955-05-18 Gil Cadilli Detroit, MI, USA W UD 10
1955-06-01 Joey Cam Boston, MA, USA W TKO 4
1955-06-14 Mickey Mars Miami Beach, FL, USA W TKO 7
1955-07-12 Hector Rodriguez Bridgeport, CT, USA W PTS 10
1955-09-13 Jimmy Ithia Hartford, CT, USA W TKO 6
1955-09-27 Henry 'Pappy' Gault Holyoke, MA, USA W UD 10
1955-10-10 Charley Titone Brockton, MA, USA W UD 10
1955-11-29 Henry 'Pappy' Gault Tampa, FL, USA W UD 10
1955-12-13 Lee Carter Houston, TX, USA W TKO 4
1955-12-28 Andy Arel Miami Beach, FL, USA W UD 10
1956-03-13 Kid Campeche Tampa, FL, USA W UD 10
1956-03-27 James Buddy Baggett Beaumont, TX, USA W PTS 10
1956-04-17 Jackie Blair Hartford, CT, USA W PTS 10
1956-05-22 Manuel Armenteros San Antonio, TX, USA W TKO 7
1956-06-19 Russell Tague Miami Beach, FL, USA W UD 10
1956-07-04 Hector Bacquettes Lawton, OK, USA W KO 4
1957-04-23 Cesar Morales Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA W PTS 10
1957-05-10 Manny Castro Florence, SC, USA W UD 10
1957-07-16 Manny Castro El Paso, TX, USA W PTS 10
1957-07-23 Russell Tague Houston, TX, USA W UD 10
1957-12-17 Jimmy Connors Boston, MA, USA W UD 10
1958-01-14 Tommy Tibbs Boston, MA, USA L SD 10
1958-03-31 Prince Johnson Holyoke, MA, USA W UD 10
1958-04-08 George Stephany Bristol, CT, USA W PTS 10
1958-04-14 Cleo Ortiz Providence, RI, USA W UD 10
1958-04-29 Jimmy Kelly Boston, MA, USA W PTS 10
1958-05-20 Bobby Singleton Boston, MA, USA W UD 10
1958-06-23 Pat McCoy New Bedford, MA, USA W UD 10
1958-07-01 Bobby Soares Athol, MA, USA W UD 10
1958-07-17 Bobby Bell Norwood, MA, USA W PTS 10
1958-08-04 Louis Carmona Presque Isle, ME, USA W PTS 10
1958-08-09 Jesse Rodrigues Painesville, OH, USA W UD 10
1958-08-26 Al Duarte North Adams, MA, USA W UD 10
1958-09-20 Hogan 'Kid' Bassey Boston, MA, USA L TKO 9
1959-01-26 Victor Sonny Leon Caracas, Venezuela L UD 10
1965-03-12 Harold McKeever Miami, FL, USA W PTS 8
1965-04-26 Jackie Lennon Philadelphia, PA, USA W UD 6
1965-05-21 Johnny Gilmore Norwalk, CT, USA W PTS 6
1965-07-26 Benny (Red) Randall Quebec City, QC, Canada W UD 10
1965-09-28 Johnny Gilmore Philadelphia, PA, USA W PTS 6
1965-10-01 Willie Little Johnstown, PA, USA W KO 3
1965-10-04 Tommy Haden Providence, RI, USA W TKO 3
1965-10-14 Sergio Musquiz Phoenix, AZ, USA W KO 5
1965-10-25 Ray Coleman Tucson, AZ, USA W KO 5
1966-03-16 Calvin Woodland Richmond, VA, USA L PTS 6

Record to Date
Won 230 (KOs 65) Lost 11 Drawn 1 Total 242

mike
11-24-2006, 11:47 AM
a sad day for boxing.

Ron Lipton
11-24-2006, 12:37 PM
I was very lucky to have been chosen to honor Wille Pep at the Rocky Marciano Foundation for Children dinner in the early 1990's.
Ken Norton was the man of the year and I gave a speech honoring all the old champs, great fighters and boxing people who came there that night.

Tony DeMarco, Chico Vejar, Chuvalo, Norton, John Ice Scully, Paz, Bert Sugar, Lou Duva, Sean O'Grady, and Willie Pep among others.

The speech I gave was filmed and I have a copy. The ovation given to Willie Pep was tremendous and I spent some wonderful time with him afterward.
He was not in the best of shape back then and I know it worsened over time.

It touched him when I spoke of the love and admiration that Rocky Marciano had for him. He has the most professional wins in boxing history, a sterling pro record and a one of a kind fighter.

One day when I was boxing with Emile Griffith before the Manny Gonzalez fight in the Garden, Willie boxed a fun round with him too. It was wonderful to see.

Whichever way he moved during a fight, he would blaze out a few shots on the way, always busy, always moving. He fought them all.

Rest in Peace Champ
God Bless You.

oldschoolhistorian
11-24-2006, 01:40 PM
It's sad to hear of Pep's passing. Truly, the greatest featherweight who ever lived. But what's also sad is to see a guy like Bert Sugar, who should know better, write an article for ESPN that perpetuates the fairy tale of Pep winning the third round of his fight against Jackie Graves without throwing a punch. Sugar, a guy I normally respect, just went and made heresy out of history, as that tale has been disproven for 3 years now. Readers of this website would have seen that in the interview with Graves that is in the interview archives. Pep was great enough on his own without anyone having to exaggerate his accomplishments. The simple fact remains, that none of the newspaper next day round-by-rounds either from the Minneapolis Tribune or the St. Paul newspaper, reported anything close to that claim about any of the rounds, much less the infamous third, which all papers called "the most rapid of the night...a clicker couldn't count the blows between the two". Rest in peace Willie.

Kid Achilles
11-24-2006, 01:45 PM
Incredible style and maybe the most well equipped brain for boxing of anyone. He was almost always a step ahead of whoever he was fighting, except for Sandy Saddler and then he showed great heart and fighting spirit. Mind, body, and soul, he was pure fighter. RIP Willie Pep!

Chuck1052
11-24-2006, 02:44 PM
In addition to being the great featherweight and one of the greatest
p4p fighters of all time, Willie Pep may have also been the most skillful
boxer who climbed into a boxing ring. RIP Willie!

- Chuck Johnston

kikibalt
11-24-2006, 04:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpKHFZ6ixKs

ICEMAN JOHN SCULLY
11-24-2006, 11:42 PM
In his autobio Sugar Ray Robinson says that Willie was the greatest boxer I ever saw."

I myself got to know Willie pretty good over the last 20 years or so....I had even talked to him at one point about trainin gme but in that department we werent on the same page. It is one of my greatest honors as a boxer that I can say that Willie Pep actually used to come watch me fight and told me so himself that he as there to see me. That was pretty cool, especially now that I see after his passing how well people really thought of him.

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 12:36 PM
Few Did It As Well As Willie Pep
By Pete Ehrmann from Sweet Science

In the 1950s a Mexican featherweight boxer named Kid Campeche won only seven of his 31 pro fights, but nevertheless achieved a certain immortality for what he said after losing a 10-round decision in '-56 to Willie Pep. Asked what it was like to fight the legendary featherweight champion the frustrated Campeche said it was akin to "trying to stamp out a grass fire."

The great writer W.C. Heinz called Pep, who died on Thanksgiving Day at age 84, "the artist supreme." In his book Once They Heard The Cheers, Heinz wrote: "When I watched him box, it used to occur to me that, if I could just listen carefully enough, I would hear the music. He turned boxing contests into ballets, performances by a virtuoso in which the opponent, trying to punch him out, became an unwilling partner in a dance, the details of which were so exquisite that they evoked joy, and sometimes even laughter."

But not in the opponent, of course. “Stand still and fight!” growled Chalky Wright during their 15-round bout for Wright’s featherweight championship on November 20, 1942. “Do you think I want to get killed?” answered Pep, who won New York State recognition as ruler of the 126-pound division by winning a unanimous decision over Wright, and then unified the title by beating National Boxing Association champion Sal Bartolo on June 8, 1943.

To Pep, whose professional record was an astonishing 230-11-1, with 63 KOs, it all boiled down to a simple proposition. “The main idea,” he said once, “is to learn how to win without getting hurt.” It helped that he had the reflexes, as Heinz wrote, of “a housefly.”

An easy target for neighborhood bullies in his native Middletown, Connecticut, the diminutive Pep started his boxing career after being told by a friend, “Why don’t you go to the gym? You’re getting beat up, and you can get paid for it.”

He became the state flyweight and bantamweight amateur champion. One of his amateur losses was to a New Yorker called Ray Roberts, whose real name was Walker Smith and who later became Sugar Ray Robinson, another boxing legend.

Pep turned pro on July 3, 1940, and won 62 fights in a row before former lightweight champion Sammy Angott won a decision in their March 19, 1943 bout at Madison Square Garden. Pep disputed the duke. “He wasn’t tough at all,” he said of Angott years later. “I was sure I’d licked him.”

He was only 20 when he won the featherweight title, and after losing to Angott in their non-title fight, The Ring magazine’s 1945 “Fighter of the Year” won 72 more fights in a row (including one draw, which he avenged with a KO) before Sandy Saddler took the belt from him in 1948 by KO in four.

Those are flabbergasting figures because in those days fighters fought so much oftener than today, and against top-flight competition.

Here’s another stunner: In January, 1947, it was widely believed that Pep’s career was over after the plane in which he was a passenger went down. He lived, but when the medic who pulled him out of the wreckage saw who he was, he said, “That’s tough luck, Willie. I guess you’ll never fight again. You’ve got multiple injuries.” His back was broken, and so was his left leg. But six months later Pep was back in action. His injuries had robbed him of some of his speed, but not the guile which once moved columnist Red Smith to say that if Pep “had chosen a life of crime he could have been the most successful pickpocket since the Artful Dodger.”

He picked right up where he left off, and fought for another decade, gilding his legend by outboxing Saddler to take back the featherweight title. He lost to Saddler in two subsequent title bouts, but continued to fight regularly up to 1959. In December of ‘-58, the 36-year-old Pep was stopped by then-featherweight champ Hogan “Kid” Bassey, whose 10-year age advantage wasn’t obvious until Pep wore himself out making Bassey look silly in the first half of the non-title fight. Pep was stopped in round nine.

By then, Pep’s days as a headliner in the Garden were long past. So he gave a thrill to customers on boxing’s tank-town circuit, fighting for a few hundred dollars a bout against local kids who didn’t have a clue. “I move around these kids,” he said in a 1958 interview, “jab ‘em and keep ‘em off balance. I spurt about 30 seconds of every round. The crowd loves it when I bang away with both hands to the body. It looks real good, so I give them a show. Most of the kids I fight these days you probably never heard of. To tell you the truth, I never heard of them myself till I heard the announcer say their names.”

Being in the ring with the great Willie Pep made some of them forget their own names. Pep told Bill Heinz about a fight he had in the South against a kid who approached him at the weigh-in and said, “Mr. Pep, can I have your autograph?”

“I said, ‘Get away from me, kid. There’s people watchin’ here. We’re boxin’ tonight, and what are they gonna think?’”

When the referee called them to the middle of the ring pitched in a ballpark, Pep recalled, “I look at the kid, and he’s white. He’s scared stiff. I’m thinking, ‘Oh boy, what kind of a fight can this be?’ So the bell rings and we move around, and a lot of guys turn white, but this guy is startin’ to turn purple. I figure I have to do something, so I threw a right hand over his shoulder, and that would look good to the crowd but that would miss, and I stepped inside and grabbed him under the arms, and I said, ‘Look, kid, just relax. These people here paid their money, and we’ll give them a show. We’ll just box, and you won’t get hurt. We’ll have a nice evening, and everybody will like it.’

“So I take my arms out from under his and let him go, and he falls right on his face and the referee counts him out.”

Multiple marriages, bad investments and a cavalier attitude in general about money kept Pep hustling for a buck for most of his life. He even made a comeback in the mid-1960s, when he was in his 40s. “I’m a relic that people will come and and see, like something in a museum,” he said when he started fighting again. Plus, “I want to show the fans a few things they don’t see no more.”

He did. “Even looking at Willie’s performance in the cold light of the next morning, he showed us more skill, faster and sharper hitting, better footwork and swifter combinations than a majority of our current crop of ‘stars,’” wrote Boxing Illustrated editor Lew Eskin after Pep won a six-round decision over Jackie Lennon on April 26, 1965.

A charter inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Pep was a regular at the Hall’s annual Induction Weekends until ill-heath intervened. Boxing historian Bill Schutte of Wisconsin, whose favorite fighter was Pep when Schutte first became interested in boxing over a half-century ago (“I think it was the name that got me”), says that no one was more accessible and accommodating than the great featherweight.

“What I really remember best about Pep over the years was how willing he was to autograph things," said Schutte. "One year I had a whole stack of boxing photos, and a picture of him that I asked him to sign. He signed it most pleasantly, and then asked if I wanted him to sign any of the other photos in my stack. Unlike some other guys, Pep was always more than happy to sign for people during all the years I saw him in Canastota, and he always seemed to have great fun during those weekends.”

It all came down to what Pep told boxing writer Lester Bromberg in 1962: “I’m crazy over boxing, always have been, always will be. I think it’s the fairest of all sports, man against man, no two-one or three-one situations as develop in, say, football or basketball. And it’s best to watch when done reasonably well. In other words, when two men stand up there and fight with their brains as well as their brawn.”

Few in the whole history of the Sweet Science did it as well as Willie Pep.

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 12:42 PM
Boxing champion Willie Pep dies at 84

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) — Willie Pep, a hall-of-fame boxer and one of the best fighters of the 20th century, has died at the age of 84.
His grandson, William P. Papaleo, confirmed Friday morning that Pep died Thursday at the West Hill nursing home, where he had been confined to an Alzheimer's unit since 2001.

The embodiment of finesse and speed in his prime, Pep was 230-11-1 with 65 KOs during his 26-year career.

Pep was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1999, he was listed fifth among the best fighters of the 20th century as chosen by a five-member panel for The Associated Press.

Born Sept. 9, 1922 in Middletown, Conn., Pep dropped out of high school at age 16 to fight. The 5-foot, 6-inch Pep earned the nickname "Will o' the Wisp" for his elusiveness.

Pep turned pro in 1940 and won his first 63 fights, including a victory over Chalky Wright in 1942 for the world featherweight title. With the 15-round decision, Pep was the youngest boxer to earn the title in four decades.

The following year brought 63 undefeated bouts for Pep before he lost a non-title fight to Sammy Angott. Undeterred, Pep went on to win another 73 straight.

During World War II, Pep served in the Army and the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1944.

Four years later, he went up against Sandy Saddler for the first of four memorable bouts. Pep was knocked out in the fourth round but regained his title the following year. Sadler won three of the four fights.

Pep retired in 1959, although he was back in the ring six years later. His nine-fight winning streak came to an end when he was stopped by Calvin Woodward in 1966, and Pep hung up his gloves for good.

When he retired, Pep worked in boxing as a referee and inspector as well as a sports columnist. He was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 12:43 PM
Willie Pep
(Guglielmo Papaleo)
(the "Will o' the Wisp")

BORN September 19 1922; Hartford, Connecticut
DIED November 23 2006; Rocky Hill, Connecticut
HEIGHT 5-5
WEIGHT 123-135 3/4 lbs
MANAGER Lou Viscusi
TRAINER Bill Gore
RECORD 230-11-1 (65 KO, 9 EX)
Pep was the ultimate boxer; He was shifty, quick, clever and game; Willie moved around the ring like a skater moves on ice or a dancer jogs on the stage

Willie began fighting in July, 1940 and was the Featherweight Champion of the World by November, 1942; He won 63 bouts before losing for the first time in 1943 and then won all of his fights for the next five years except for a single draw; Sporting a record of 136-1-1, he lost for the second time in 1948; In a career of 242 bouts, Pep lost but eleven times and had the lone draw

Herb Goldman ranked Pep as the #3 All-Time Featherweight; Nat Fleischer ranked him as the #7 All-Time Featherweight; Charley Rose ranked him as the #10 All-Time Featherweight; Pep was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1963 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990

Pep Fight Video Clip
(Press the button at the top of the screen to return)
*** AMATEUR BOUTS ***
1938
-Pep won the Amateur Flyweight Championship of Connecticut

1939
-Pep won the Amateur Bantamweight Championship of Connecticut


*** PROFESSIONAL BOUTS ***


1940
Jul 3 James McGovern Hartford, Ct W 4
Jul 25 Joey Marcus Hartford, Ct W 4
Aug 8 Joey Wasnick New Haven, Ct KO 3
Aug 29 Tommy Burns Hartford, Ct KO 1
Sep 5 Joey Marcus New Britain, Ct KO 1
Sep 19 Jack Moore Hartford, Ct W 6
Oct 3 Jimmy Riche Waterbury, Ct KO 3
Nov 22 Carlo Duponde New Britain, Ct KO 6
Nov 29 Frank Topazio New Britain, Ct KO 6
Dec 6 Jim Mutane New Britain, Ct KO 2

1941
Jan 28 Augie Almeda New Haven, Ct KO 6
Feb 3 Joe Echevarria Holyoke, Ma W 6
Feb 10 Don Lyons Holyoke, Ma KO 2
Feb 17 Ruby Garcia Holyoke, Ma W 6
Mar 3 Ruby Garcia Holyoke, Ma W 6
Mar 25 Marty Shapiro Hartford, Ct W 6
Mar 31 Joey Gatto Holyoke, Ma KO 2
Apr 14 Henry Vasquez Holyoke, Ma W 6
Apr 22 "Mexican" Joey Silva Hartford, Ct W 6
May 6 Lou Puglose Hartford, Ct KO 2
May 12 John Cockfield Holyoke, Ma W 6
Jun 24 Eddie DeAngelis Hartford, Ct KO 3
Jul 16 Jimmy Gilligan Hartford, Ct W 8
Aug 1 Harry Hitlian Manchester, Ct W 6
Aug 5 Paul Frechette Hartford, Ct KO 3
Aug 12 Eddie Flores Thompsonville, Mi KO 1
Sep 26 Jackie Harris New Haven, Ct KO 1
Oct 10 Carlos Manzana New Haven, Ct W 8
Oct 22 Connie Savoie Hartford, Ct KO 2
Nov 7 Billy Spencer Los Angeles, Ca W 4
Nov 24 Dave Crawford Holyoke, Ma W 8
Dec 12 Ruby Garcia New York, NY W 4

1942
Jan 8 Joey Rivers Fall River, Ma KO 4
Jan 16 Sammy Parrota New York, NY W 4
Jan 27 Abie Kaufman Hartford, Ct W 8
Feb 10 Angelo Callura Hartford, Ct W 8
Feb 24 Willie Roach Hartford, Ct W 8
Mar 18 Johnny Compo New Haven, Ct W 8
Apr 14 Spider Armstrong Hartford, Ct KO 4
May 4 Curley Nichols New Haven, Ct W 8
May 12 Aaron Seltzer Hartford, Ct W 8
May 26 Joey Iannotti Hartford, Ct W 8
Jun 23 Joey Archibald Hartford, Ct W 10
Jul 21 Abe Denner Hartford, Ct W 12
-Featherweight Championship of New England
Aug 1 "Mexican" Joey Silva Waterbury, Ct TK 7
Aug 10 Pedro Hernandez Hartford, Ct W 10
Aug 20 Nat Litfin West Haven, Ct W 10
Sep 1 Bobby "Poison" Ivy Hartford, Ct TK 10
Sep 10 Frank Franconeri New York, NY TK 1
Sep 22 Vince Dell'Orto Hartford, Ct W 10
Oct 5 Bobby McIntire Holyoke, Ma W 10
Oct 16 Joey Archibald Providence, RI W 10
Oct 27 George Zengaras Hartford, Ct W 10
Nov 20 Albert "Chalky" Wright New York, NY W 15
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Dec 14 Joe Aponte Torres Washington DC KO 7
Dec 21 "Mexican" Joey Silva Jacksonville, Fl TK 9

1943
Jan 4 Vince Dell'Orto New Orleans, La W 10
Jan 19 Bill Speary Hartford, Ct W 10
Jan 29 Allie Stolz New York, NY W 10
Feb 11 Davey Crawford Boston, Ma W 10
Feb 15 Bill Speary Baltimore, Ma W 10
Mar 2 Lou Transparenti Hartford, Ct KO 6
Mar 19 Sammy Angott New York, NY L 10
Mar 29 Bobby McIntire Detroit, Mi W 10
Apr 9 Sal Bartolo Boston, Ma W 10
Apr 19 Angel Aviles Tampa, Fl W 10
Apr 26 Jackie Wilson Pittsburgh, Pa W 12
Jun 8 Sal Bartolo Boston, Ma W 15
-Featherweight Championship of the World

1944
Apr 4 Leo Francis Hartford, Ct W 10
Apr 20 Harold "Snooks" Lacey New Haven, Ct W 10
May 1 Jackie Leamus Philadelphia, Pa W 10
May 19 Frankie Rubino Chicago, Il W 10
May 23 Joey Bagnato Buffalo, NY KO 2
Jun 6 Julie Kogan Hartford, Ct W 10
Jul 7 Willie Joyce Chicago, Il W 10
Jul 17 Manuel Ortiz Boston, Ma W 10
Aug 4 Lulu Constantino Waterbury, Ct W 10
Aug 29 Joey Peralta Springfield, Ma W 10
Sep 19 Charley "Cabey" Lewis Hartford, Ct TK 8
Sep 29 Albert "Chalky" Wright New York, NY W 15
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Oct 25 Jackie Leamus Montreal, Que, Can W 10
Nov 14 Charley "Cabey" Lewis Hartford, Ct W 10
Nov 27 Pedro Hernandez Washington, DC W 10
Dec 5 Albert "Chalky" Wright Cleveland, Oh W 10

1945
Jan 23 Ralph Walton Hartford, Ct W 10
Feb 5 Willie Roache New Haven, Ct W 10
Feb 19 Phil Terranova New York, NY W 15
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Oct 30 Paulie Jackson Hartford, Ct W 8
Nov 5 Mike Martyk Buffalo, NY TK 5
Nov 26 Eddie Giosa Boston, Ma W 10
Dec 5 Harold Gibson Lewiston, Me W 10
Dec 13 Jimmy McAllister Baltimore, Md D 10

1946
Jan 15 Johnny Virgo Buffalo, NY KO 2
Feb 13 Jimmy Joyce Buffalo, NY W 10
Mar 1 Jimmy McAllister New York, NY KO 2
Mar 26 Jackie Wilson Kansas City, Mo W 10
Apr 8 George Knox Providence, RI KO 3
May 6 Ernie Petrone New Haven, Ct W 10
May 13 Joey Angelo Providence, RI W 10
May 22 Aponte Torres St. Louis, Mo W 10
May 27 Jimmy Joyce Minneapolis, Mn W 8
Jun 7 Sal Bartolo New York, NY KO 12
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Jul 10 Harold Gibson Buffalo, NY TK 5
Jul 25 Jackie Graves Minneapolis, Mn TK 8
Aug 26 Doll Rafferty Milwaukee, Wi KO 6
Sep 4 Walter Kolby Buffalo, NY KO 5
Sep 17 Lefty LaChance Hartford, Ct TK 3
Nov 1 Paulie Jackson Minneapolis, Mn W 10
Nov 15 Tomas Beato Waterbury, Ct KO 2
Nov 27 Albert "Chalky" Wright Milwaukee, Wi KO 3

1947
Jun 17 Victor Flores Hartford, Ct W 10
Jul 1 Joey Fortuna Albany, NY KO 5
Jul 8 Leo LeBrun Norwalk, Ct W 8
Jul 11 Jean Barriere North Adams, Ma KO 4
Jul 15 Paulie Jackson New Bedford, Ct W 10
Jul 23 Humberto Sierra Hartford, Ct W 10
Aug 22 Jock Leslie Flint, Mi KO 12
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Oct 21 Jean Barriere Portland, Me KO 1
Oct 27 Archie Wilmer Philadelphia, Pa W 10
Dec 22 Alvara Estrada Lewiston, Me W 10
Dec 30 Lefty LaChance Manchester, Ct TK 8

1948
Jan 6 Pedro Biesca Hartford, Ct W 10
Jan 12 Jimmy McAllister St. Louis, Mo W 10
Jan 19 Joey Angelo Boston, Ma W 10
Feb 24 Humberto Sierra Miami, Fl TK 10
-Featherweight Championship of the World
May 7 Leroy Willis Detroit, Mi W 10
May 19 Charley "Cabey" Lewis Milwaukee, Wi W 10
Jun 17 Miguel Acevedo Minneapolis, Mn W 10
Jun 25 Luther Burgess Flint, Mi W 10
Jul 28 Young Junior Utica, NY KO 1
Aug 3 Teddy "Red Top" Davis Hartford, Ct W 10
Aug 17 Teddy "Red Top" Davis Hartford, Ct W 10
Sep 2 Johnny Dell Waterbury, Ct TK 8
Sep 10 Paddy DeMarco New York, NY W 10
Oct 12 Chuck Burton Jersey City, NJ W 8
Oct 19 John LaRusso Hartford, Ct W 10
Oct 29 Sandy Saddler New York, NY LK 4
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Dec 20 Hermie Freeman Boston, Ma W 10

1949
Jan 17 Teddy "Red Top" Davis St. Louis, Mo W 10
Feb 11 Sandy Saddler New York, NY W 15
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Apr 27 Ellis Ask Detroit, Mi EX 4
May 25 Mel Hammond St. Paul, Mn EX 4
Jun 6 Luis Ramos New Haven, Ct W 10
Jun 14 Al Pennino Pittsfield, Ma W 10
Jun 20 John LaRusso Springfield, Ma W 10
Jul 12 Jean Mougin Syracuse, NY W 10
Sep 2 Miguel Acevedo Chicago, Il EX 4
Sep 20 Eddie Campo Waterbury, Ct TK 7
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Dec 12 Harold Dade St. Louis, Mo W 10

1950
Jan 16 Charley Riley St. Louis, Mo KO 5
-Featherweight Championship of the World
Feb 6 Roy Andrews Boston, Ma W 10
Feb 22 Jimmy Warren Miami, Fl W 10
Mar 17 Ray Famechon New York, NY W 15
-Featherweight Championship of the World
May 15 Art Llanos Hartford, Ct KO 2
Jun 1 Terry Young Milwaukee, Wi W 10
Jun 26 Bobby Timpson Hartford, Ct W 10
Jul 25 Bobby Bell Washington, DC W 10
Aug 2 Proctor Heinold Scranton, Pa W 10
Sep 8 Sandy Saddler Bronx, NY LT 8
-Featherweight Championship of the World

1951
Jan 30 Tommy Baker Hartford, Ct TK 4
Feb 26 Billy Hogan Sarasota, Fl KO 2
Mar 5 Carlos Chavez New Orleans, La W 10
Mar 26 Pat Iacobucci Miami, Fl W 10
Apr 17 Baby Ortiz St. Louis, Mo TK 5
Apr 27 Eddie Chavez San Francisco, Ca W 10
Jun 4 Jesus Compos Baltimore, Md W 10
Sep 4 Corky Gonzalez New Orleans, La W 10
Sep 26 Sandy Saddler New York, NY LT 9
-Featherweight Championship of the World

1952
Apr 29 Santiago Gonzalez Tampa, Fl W 10
May 5 Kenny Leach Colombus, Ga W 10
May 10 Buddy Baggett Aiken, SC KO 5
May 21 Claude Hammond Miami Beach, Fl W 10
Jun 30 Tommy Collins Boston, Ma LT 6
Sep 3 Billy Lima Pensacola, Fl W 10
Sep 11 Bobby Woods Vancouver, BC, Can W 10
Oct 1 Armand Savoie Chicago, Il W 10
Oct 20 Billy Lima Jacksonville, Fl W 10
Nov 5 Manny Castro Miami Beach, Fl TK 5
Nov 19 Fabala Chavez St. Louis, Mo W 10
Dec 5 Jorge Sanchez West Palm Beach, Fl W 10

1953
Jan 19 Billy Lauderdale Nassau, Bahamas W 10
Jan 27 Davey Mitchell Miami Beach, Fl W 10
Feb 10 Jose Alvarez San Antonio, Tx W 10
Mar 31 Joey Gambino Tampa, Fl W 10
Apr 7 Noel Paquette Miami Beach, Fl W 10
May 13 Jackie Blair Dallas, Tx W 10
Jun 5 Pat Marcune New York, NY TK 10
Nov 21 Sonny Luciano Charlotte, NC W 10
Dec 4 Davey Allen West Palm Beach, Fl W 10
Dec 8 Billy Lima Houston, Tx KO 2
Dec 15 Tony Longo Miami Beach, Fl W 10

1954
Jan 19 David Seabrooke Jacksonville, Fl W 10
Feb 26 Lulu Perez New York, NY LT 2
-Some sources report that Pep took a "dive"
Jul 24 Mike Turcotte Mobile, Al W 10
Aug 18 Til LeBlanc Moncton, NB, Can W 10
Nov 1 Mario Colon Dayton Beach, Fl W 10

1955
Mar 11 Myrel Olmstead Bennington, Vt W 10
Mar 22 Charley Titone Holyoke, Ma W 10
Mar 30 Gil Cadilli Parks Air Force Base, Ca L 10
May 18 Gil Cadilli Detroit, Mi W 10
Jun 1 Joey Cam Boston, Ma TK 4
Jun 14 Mickey Mars Miami Beach, Fl TK 7
Jul 12 Hector Rodriguez Bridgeport, Ct W 10
Sep 13 Jimmy Ithia Hartford, Ct TK 6
Sep 27 Henry "Pappy" Gault Holyoke, Ma W 10
Oct 10 Charley Titone Brockton, Ma W 10
Nov 29 Henry "Pappy" Gault Tampa, Fl W 10
Dec 12 Lee Carter Houston, Tx KO 4
Dec 28 Andy Arel Miami Beach, Fl W 10

1956
Mar 13 Kid Campeche Tampa, Fl W 10
Mar 27 Buddy Baggett Beaumont, Tx W 10
Apr 17 Jackie Blair Hartford, Ct W 10
May 22 Manuel Armenteros San Antonio, Tx TK 7
Jun 19 Russ Tague Miami Beach, Fl W 10
Jul 4 Hector Bacquettes Lawton, Ok KO 4

1957
Apr 23 Cesar Morales Fort Lauderdale, Fl W 10
May 10 Manny Castro Florence, SC W 10
Jul 16 Manny Castro El Paso, Tx W 10
Jul 23 Russ Tague Houston, Tx W 10
Dec 17 Jimmy Connors Boston, Ma W 10

1958
Jan 14 Tommy Tibbs Boston, Ma L 10
Mar 31 Prince Johnson Holyoke, Ma W 10
Apr 8 George Stephany Bristol, Tn W 10
Apr 14 Cleo Ortiz Providence, RI W 10
Apr 29 Jimmy Kelly Boston, Ma W 10
May 20 Bobby Singleton Boston, Ma W 10
Jun 23 Pat McCoy New Bedford, Ct W 10
Jul 1 Bobby Soares Athol, Ma W 10
Jul 17 Bobby Bell Norwood, Ma W 10
Aug 4 Luis Ramona Presque Isle, Me W 10
Aug 9 Jesse Rodrigues Painesville, Oh W 10
Aug 26 Al Duarte North Adams, Ma W 10
Sep 20 Hogan "Kid" Bassey Boston, Ma LT 9

1959
Jan 26 Sonny Leon Caracas, Venezuela L 10
Jan 27 -Pep announced his retirement from the ring
(only to return later)

1965
Jan 28 Jerry Powers Miami, Fl EX 4
Mar 12 Hal McKeever Miami, Fl W 8
Apr 26 Jackie Lennon Philadelphia, Pa W 6
May 21 Johnny Gilmore Norwalk, Ct W 6
May 28 "Irish" Bob Shaughnessy EX 4
Jul 26 Benny Randell Quebec City, Que, Can W 10
Sep 28 Johnny Gilmore Philadelphia, Pa W 10
Oct 1 Willie Little Johnston, NY KO 3
Oct 4 Tommy Haden Providence, RI TK 4
Oct 14 Sergio Musquiz Phoenix, Az KO 5
Oct 25 Ray Coleman Tucson, Az KO 5

1966
Mar 16 Calvin Woodland Richmond, Va L 6

1971
Sep 11 Sandy Saddler Westchester, NY SCH
-This bout was scheduled; The outcome is not known

1973
Mar 8 Sandy Saddler New York, NY EX

1975
Bobby Krystopa Meriden, Ct EX
Billy Graham in Connecticut EX
Billy Graham Orange, NJ EX


Record Courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 12:53 PM
Willie Pep 1922-2006; Boxing Hall of Fame
By Media Report (Nov 24, 2006)

NOVEMBER 24, 2006 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of two-time featherweight champion Willie Pep. He passed away peacefully yesterday at the age of 84.

Pep was born Guiglermo Papaleo on September 19, 1922 in Middleton, CT. Hebegan boxing in 1940 and would compete professionally for 26 years. During a remarkable career Pep reigned twice as featherweight champion of the world (1942-48, 1949-50). He compiled an amazing 230-11-1 (65 KOs) record that includes wins

over Hall of Famers Manuel Ortiz, 'Chalky' Wright and four-time rival Sandy Saddler. Celebrated the world over for his defensive and tactical abilities, the slick-boxing Pep once even won a round without throwing a punch. In 1945 he was named 'Fighter of the Year.'

"Willie Pep defined the essence of boxing - hit and not get hit," said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. "'The Will o' the Wisp' left an indelible mark on the sport of boxing and the Hall of Fame joins the entire boxing community in mourning the loss of a legend."

In 1990, Pep was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 01:00 PM
Pep regarded as one of the pound-for-pound greats
By Lee Groves
MaxBoxing.com

In the ring, Willie Pep was known as the "Will O' the Wisp," but even he couldn't elude the one opponent that ultimately claims us all.

Pep, a Hall of Fame boxer who reportedly had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease, died Thursday in Rocky Hill, Conn., at age 84.

Most historians rate Pep (230-11-1, 65 KOs) as one of the greatest fighters pound-for-pound who has ever lived, and his work inside the ropes will forever be cherished by those who love the sport.

Little Big Men: Willie Pep
The man who scissored his given name of "Papaleo" into the pallindromic "Pep" was boxing's version of the three-card monte player: Now you see him, now you don't.
• ESPN Classic: Willie Pep


Pep is generally regarded as one of history's greatest defensive wizards, and the most famous piece of lore connected with his ability occurred on July 25, 1946, when he boxed a 10-rounder against Jackie Graves in Minneapolis. The story goes that Pep told sportswriters to watch the third round because he was not going to throw a punch.

"I went out and bobbed and weaved and made him miss all throughout that round, and making him miss he looked so foolish," Pep recalled in Peter Heller's book "In This Corner."

"He missed a hundred punches, I guess, making him look so bad they gave me the round," Pep said. He went on to win the bout by TKO in the eighth round.

The Middletown, Conn., native dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue a boxing career. As an amateur, he was 62-3, winning two Connecticut state championships, one as a flyweight in 1938 and the other as a bantamweight in 1939. One of his most noteworthy amateur bouts took place in Norwich, Conn., against a man who fought under the pseudonym of Ray Roberts. Weighing just 105 pounds, Pep lost a three-round decision to the featherweight Roberts, who would eventually be known as Sugar Ray Robinson.

Pep turned professional in July 1940 and enjoyed incredible success. He ended 1940 with 11 straight victories and added 22 more in 1941. Pep's ranking rose as the victories piled up, and in 1942 he scored decisions over top contenders Joey Archibald (twice) and Pedro Hernandez to earn a crack at Chalky Wright's world featherweight title. On Nov. 20, 1942, Pep became the youngest man in four decades to capture the 126-pound title when he decisioned Wright in New York.

As featherweight champion, Pep maintained his busy schedule by taking on scores of non-title fights. On March 19, 1943, Pep's 63-fight winning streak was snapped after losing a decision to lightweight contender (and future champion) Sammy Angott. Over the next four-and-a-half years, Pep would win his next 73 fights including title defenses against Sal Bartolo (W 15), Wright (W 15), Phil Terranova (W 15), Bartolo (KO 12), Jock Leslie (KO 12) and Humberto Sierra (KO 10).

During that second long victory string, Pep was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 14, 1945. (He was honorably discharged.) On Jan. 8, 1947, he suffered a broken leg and broken back in an airplane crash near Millville, N.J., that killed several others aboard the aircraft. Incredibly, Pep returned to training in May and was back in the ring on June 17 to win a 10-round decision against Victor Flores, rejecting a chance to cash in a generous insurance policy.

On Oct. 29, 1948, in New York, Pep entered the ring against Sandy Saddler to begin what would become one of boxing's most storied rivalries. The bigger, stronger Saddler ended Pep's title reign (and his long victory string) by scoring a surprising fourth-round KO. The rematch on Feb. 11, 1949, saw Pep regain the title by unanimous decision in one of the sport's greatest exhibitions of boxing skill. The bout was named Ring magazine's 1949 Fight of the Year.

"That was the greatest night of my life," Pep said in Heller's book. "I realized how great it was to be champion again. And I knew I won it from a good fighter."

In his second reign as champion, Pep continued to sprinkle plenty of non-title bouts between his championship engagements, winning 12 such bouts and defending the title against Eddie Compo (KO 7), Charley Riley (KO 5) and Ray Famechon (W 15). On Sept. 8, 1950 at Yankee Stadium, Pep met Saddler for the third time and after seven rounds was ahead five rounds to two on two scorecards and 4-2-1 on the third. But Pep was unable to answer the bell for Round 8 due to a separated shoulder suffered at the end of the seventh.

Following eight more wins, Pep met Saddler for the fourth and final time on Sept. 26, 1951, at the Polo Grounds in New York. In one of the most savagely foul-filled championship contests on record, Pep retired on the stool before the ninth due to a severe injury to his right eye. Pep would never again fight for the featherweight title, but he did receive a non-title crack at reigning 126-pound king Hogan "Kid" Bassey at the Boston Garden on Sept. 20, 1958. Pep, just one day past his 36th birthday, put together one last great boxing exhibition and was leading on two of the scorecards entering the ninth round. But Bassey's strength proved to be too much as he dropped Pep twice and scored the KO. After a 10-round loss to Victor Sonny Leon on Jan. 26, 1959, Pep stepped away from the game.

But his retirement was not permanent. At age 42, Pep was working out with a fighter and the fight card's promoter was so impressed with Pep's work that he suggested a comeback to pay for expenses. After winning an eight-round decision over Harold McKeever, Pep decided to keep going, "just for kicks," and won his next eight fights over modest competition. On March 16, 1966, in Richmond, Va., the 43-year-old Pep ended his career with a six-round decision loss to Calvin Woodland.

Pep finished his 26-year pro career with a record of 230-11-1 with 65 knockouts, and the 230 wins represent the most ever compiled by a world champion. Upon retirement, Pep worked as a referee (most notably for the Johnny Famechon-Fighting Harada featherweight title fight), an inspector and a sports columnist. Pep was one of the charter enshrinees when the International Boxing Hall of Fame opened in 1990 and for years afterward was one of the induction weekend's most popular attendees.

Rest in peace, champ. You will never be forgotten.

apollack
11-25-2006, 01:14 PM
I recently wrote the following on Pep:

Willie Pep turned pro in July 1940 at age 17. He won the featherweight title in November 1942 with a W15 over Chalky Wright. Talk about staying busy - at that time, Pep had a record of 54-0. Wright's record was 131-30-15. That's what I call a title fight.

At 63-0, in 1943 Pep lost his first fight, a non title fight at lightweight. Weighing only 130 pounds, Pep lost a 10 round decision to 134.5 pound 70-16-5 Sammy Angott, a fighter who usually fought in the lightweight, junior welter, and later welter weight range. Pep would not lose again until 1948.

In late 1946, Pep was a passenger in a plane crash that killed and badly injured a number of people. Although doctors said that he would never box again, Willie was back in the ring again five months later.

After holding the title for almost six years and fighting anyone and everyone, at age 26 in October 1948, with a record of 135-1-1, Pep lost his world featherweight title via KOby4 to Sandy Saddler, then 85-6-2. In 1949, Pep won back the title with a W15 over Saddler in what was called the fight of the year. The following year, Pep would be stopped by Saddler, and woud lose to him once more in 1951.

Pep continued fighting until 1959, took a hiatus, came back in 1965, and retired in 1966 with a career pro record of 230-11-1 with 65 KOs.

Although not the most powerful fighter, Willie Pep was a smooth boxer with beautiful footwork, excellent speed and timing, good sense of range, smooth head movement, and was always very relaxed. One of the greatest featherweights of all time.

10-8
11-25-2006, 01:33 PM
I met Pep at a boxing function in 1994 and found him to be a humble, quiet and polite man. This combined with his very small stature made it hard to believe he was a veteran of so many ring wars and unquestionably one of the greatest fighters ever. I feel honoured to have met him.

Rest in Peace Willie.

BDeskins
11-25-2006, 02:10 PM
Who is the oldest living former world champion...Jake LaMotta?

kikibalt
11-25-2006, 02:21 PM
http://i15.tinypic.com/4i5aowl.jpg
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kikibalt
11-25-2006, 02:43 PM
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kikibalt
11-25-2006, 02:45 PM
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kikibalt
11-25-2006, 02:48 PM
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kikibalt
11-25-2006, 02:51 PM
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StingerKarl
11-25-2006, 06:56 PM
He has to be the greatest pure boxer ever.
Rocky Marciano told a story of Pep on "The Main Event" as to how when Pep was a kid he would get the bullies to chase and and he would lead them into a doorway and then smash the door in their faces.
I guess that was the start of his hit and not get hit practice.
RIP Champ.
Karl

JaKob
11-25-2006, 07:24 PM
RIP willie pep.

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 08:11 PM
My partner Mike DeLisa told a funny story about Pep. He went up to him at the HOF ceremonies & asked Willie if he could get an autograph of Willie's real Italian name: Guglielmo Papaleo.

Willie's response to Mike was hilarious: "Fuck you. I'm Willie Pep!"

That's classic & it cracks me up everytime I think about it.

R.I.P. Champ.


GorDoom

GorDoom
11-25-2006, 09:13 PM
Youtube P4P profile of Willie Pep:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oA00dfx9Wmw

They also have one of his bouts with Saddler on the same page.

GorDoom

GorDoom
11-27-2006, 03:09 PM
SPOTLIGHT ON BOXING
Late boxer Pep among best of all-time
BY SANTOS A. PEREZ from the Miami Herald.com


Featherweight boxer, Willie Pep
Line after line of fights. A volume and time span so lengthy that it annihilates the bout total of multiple contemporary fighters.

Willie Pep symbolized an era when fighters rarely took breaks. In fact, Pep made it routine to fill the yearly and sometimes monthly calendar with fights.

And while his 243-fight career may amaze today’s fight fan, Pep’s body of work surprises few experts and will be a standard for the ages. Pep, who died last Thursday at 84, is considered one of the best fighters in boxing history.

Pep died in a Connecticut nursing home, where he had been confined to an Alzheimer's unit since 2001.

"I idolized Willie Pep, he
was such a great boxer," Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee said. "Whenever you had one of your fighters fight Willie Pep, you were going to get an education in boxing."

Dundee knew first hand as several of his fighters had the often fruitless task of defeating a fighter, who won his first 53 professional fights before earning a world title shot. Pep eventually scored a unanimous decision against Chalky Wright to capture the world featherweight crown in 1942.

Pep fought until 1966 and retired at age 43 with 230 victories, 11 losses, one draw and 65 KOs. He had two stints as featherweight champion. His victory over Sandy Sadler in 1949 avenged an earlier title loss in a bout considered the fight of the year by Ring Magazine. Boxing historians still hail the match as one of the best in the history of the sport.

"He was so pretty to watch, so fluid the way he moved side to side," Dundee said. "You couldn’t hit the guy."

During his an extensive fight history, Pep made 13 South Florida appearances. Pep’s first local bout was at the Orange Bowl, where he scored a 10th-round TKO of Humberto Sierra for a successful defense of his crown in 1948.

"He was probably the greatest boxer who ever lived," said Dwaine Simpson, who fought on the undercard of one of Pep’s headlining local shows and later became Miami-Dade County’s director of amateur boxing. "Sugar Ray Robinson may have been the greatest fighter of all time because of his punching and boxing ability, but nobody could box like Willie Pep."

Simpson said Pep’s high volume of fights was a necessity during Pep's era.

"There were so many hungry fighters back then and they wanted to fight as much as they could," said Simpson, who had 143 bouts in a 15-year career. "Instead of spending time sparring in the gym, they preferred to accept every possible fight and get paid."

Pep’s lengthy and successful career didn’t go unnoticed with his induction to the first class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

"Willie Pep was boxing and for all his success in the ring, he also had this glow with people that made him very charismatic," Dundee said. "He will be missed."

GorDoom
11-27-2006, 03:12 PM
SPOTLIGHT ON BOXING
Late boxer Pep among best of all-time
BY SANTOS A. PEREZ from the Miami Herald.com


Featherweight boxer, Willie Pep
Line after line of fights. A volume and time span so lengthy that it annihilates the bout total of multiple contemporary fighters.

Willie Pep symbolized an era when fighters rarely took breaks. In fact, Pep made it routine to fill the yearly and sometimes monthly calendar with fights.

And while his 243-fight career may amaze today’s fight fan, Pep’s body of work surprises few experts and will be a standard for the ages. Pep, who died last Thursday at 84, is considered one of the best fighters in boxing history.

Pep died in a Connecticut nursing home, where he had been confined to an Alzheimer's unit since 2001.

"I idolized Willie Pep, he
was such a great boxer," Hall of Fame trainer Angelo Dundee said. "Whenever you had one of your fighters fight Willie Pep, you were going to get an education in boxing."

Dundee knew first hand as several of his fighters had the often fruitless task of defeating a fighter, who won his first 53 professional fights before earning a world title shot. Pep eventually scored a unanimous decision against Chalky Wright to capture the world featherweight crown in 1942.

Pep fought until 1966 and retired at age 43 with 230 victories, 11 losses, one draw and 65 KOs. He had two stints as featherweight champion. His victory over Sandy Sadler in 1949 avenged an earlier title loss in a bout considered the fight of the year by Ring Magazine. Boxing historians still hail the match as one of the best in the history of the sport.

"He was so pretty to watch, so fluid the way he moved side to side," Dundee said. "You couldn’t hit the guy."

During his an extensive fight history, Pep made 13 South Florida appearances. Pep’s first local bout was at the Orange Bowl, where he scored a 10th-round TKO of Humberto Sierra for a successful defense of his crown in 1948.

"He was probably the greatest boxer who ever lived," said Dwaine Simpson, who fought on the undercard of one of Pep’s headlining local shows and later became Miami-Dade County’s director of amateur boxing. "Sugar Ray Robinson may have been the greatest fighter of all time because of his punching and boxing ability, but nobody could box like Willie Pep."

Simpson said Pep’s high volume of fights was a necessity during Pep's era.

"There were so many hungry fighters back then and they wanted to fight as much as they could," said Simpson, who had 143 bouts in a 15-year career. "Instead of spending time sparring in the gym, they preferred to accept every possible fight and get paid."

Pep’s lengthy and successful career didn’t go unnoticed with his induction to the first class of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

"Willie Pep was boxing and for all his success in the ring, he also had this glow with people that made him very charismatic," Dundee said. "He will be missed."

GorDoom
11-27-2006, 03:15 PM
Editorial: Theday.com CT.

Willie Pep, who died Thanksgiving Day in a Rocky Hill nursing home, deserves to be remembered as one of Connecticut's greatest athletes. Pound for pound, he was the greatest boxer to come from the state.
Born Guglielmo Papaleo on Sept. 19, 1922 in Middletown, Mr. Pep came of age during the Great Depression. A shoeshine boy, he first learned how to fight by defending his territory on the streets of Hartford from bigger boys.

He held the featherweight title from 1942 to 1948 and 1949-50 and compiled an amazing 230 professional wins in his career. At one point his record was a remarkable 135 wins, one loss and a draw. Mr. Pep was especially known for his footwork and ability to slip a punch. The Associated Press named him the fifth best fighter of the 20th century.

Though he became a national figure, Mr. Pep often returned to fight in Connecticut, including in this area. Though his personal life was a mess — six marriages and a persistent gambling problem — “the artful dodger” of the boxing ring leaves behind an unparalleled featherweight record.

rocky111
11-27-2006, 03:41 PM
Ah Geezzzzzzzzzz.......................Say it aint so. I pray Carmen Basilio lives forever. And Tony DeMarco. And Joey G. and Miceli and all the greats of my youth still around. Willie Pep gone. Who would believe Id see this day. I pray Saddlers waiting for Willie to welcome him to the next world of great fighters. Rest in peace Willie.

kikibalt
11-27-2006, 06:38 PM
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kikibalt
11-27-2006, 06:42 PM
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kikibalt
11-27-2006, 06:44 PM
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kikibalt
11-27-2006, 06:45 PM
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JLP 6
11-28-2006, 12:03 AM
Record to Date
Won 230-11 = TOTAL DOMINATION

Walker Smith
11-28-2006, 12:31 AM
When I first saw footage of him, I ranked him 2nd all-time p4p behind Robinson. His footwork was seemless and he could punch from virtually any angle. He could duck, slide, turn and return fire. If you could create a boxer, you would probably create Pep.

I've since knocked him down a few slots, but I still don't think anybody was a more technically sound boxer than Pep. It took a huge puncher with a wiry, long-armed frame and MASSIVE power to beat him. A true great in sports history.

It's funny. I have him and Ali ranked neck-in-neck on my all-time p4p list (as I'm sure many do) and I didn't hear a blurb about Pep on any of the sports networks here in Canada.

PeteLeo
11-28-2006, 01:47 AM
This has probably been repeated in many of the long official reports of his passing, but I always enjoyed Willie's boast: "If Ray Robinson is the greatest boxer pound for pound, then I'm the greatest ounce for ounce."
PeteLeo.

rocky111
11-28-2006, 02:28 PM
Check out Willies build pre accident compared to the Willie that fought Saddler. I dont think anybody should judge Willie on his all time status based on his Saddler bouts. Willie was not the same fighter. By the way, Saddler would have hell with Angott too. Saddler and any other feather you might name.
GREAT GREAT PHOTOS BY MY MAN kIKI............. He is truly the photo man.

kikibalt
11-28-2006, 05:00 PM
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GorDoom
11-29-2006, 01:32 PM
The Great Willie Pep Is Laid To Rest
November 28, 2006
By TOM PULEO, Hartford Courant Staff Writer

WETHERSFIELD -- Willie Pep had outlived the best of his era by the time Seth English, a deacon at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, started visiting him six years go at a convalescent home.

Gone were the smoky arenas where Pep, regarded by many as the greatest featherweight ever, won his title belts in the 1940s. Gone were the days when 18,000 fans paid to witness Pep's boxing artistry and cheer his name.

One morning over coffee, English asked Pep about Sandy Saddler, the fighter who beat Pep three times in four memorable championship fights, the one boxer to overpower the elusive light beam known as "Will o' the Wisp."

"Tough kid, great fighter, a champion," English recalled hearing from Pep, by then in his 80s and in failing health.

"That was the way Willie Pep was," English told about 100 mourners who attended Pep's funeral service Tuesday. "There was no criticism, no downplaying of Saddler.

"If you needed a dollar, he gave you a dollar. If you needed 10, he gave you 10. He didn't ask."

Pep was 20 when he won the featherweight title on Nov. 20, 1942, at Madison Square Garden. He held it until Oct. 29, 1948, when he lost to Saddler. He regained it with a 15-round decision over Saddler on Feb. 11, 1949, only to lose it to Saddler again on Sept. 8, 1950.

Few other boxers had success against Pep, who the Associated Press ranked as the fifth best fighter of the 20th century. Boxing Illustrated called Pep "the cleverest fighter" of all-time - ahead of Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.

Pep died on Thanksgiving at the Haven Health Center of Rocky Hill, where English made his visits. He was 84.

Fighters attending the funeral included Marlon Starling, the Hartford native who won the WBA and WBC welterweight titles while fighting from 1979-90; and John Scully, who won a bronze medal at the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials and lost an IBF light heavyweight title fight in 1996.

Starling paused outside the red-brick church to marvel at Pep's 230 career wins, believed to be the most in boxing history. Pep had a career record of 230-11-1.

"Back then they fought every week," Starling said. "He not only did something great for Connecticut, he did something great for the world."

As mourners filed out of the funeral mass, the church organist played "The Star-Spangled Banner," evoking some of the atmosphere of Pep's long ago professional fights.

Pep was buried at Rose Hill Memorial Park in Rocky Hill. His pall bearers were Scully; his brother, Nick, of East Hartford; his attorney, Michael A. Georgetti, of Hartford; boxing writer Kirk Lang; his grandson, Bill Papaleo of Farmington; and a man identified as "the unknown fan."

Georgetti said the sixth pall bearer, a heavyset, bald man, attended Pep's wake Monday night and was asked to help out on Tuesday. Nobody in Pep's group got the man's name.

"We wanted someone as a representative of the public, the fans, the people who loved Willie," Georgetti said. "Who he was is not as important as that he was one of Willie's fans."

Born Guglielmo Papaleo in Middletown in 1922, Pep was a child of the Depression who fought his way up from Hartford's streets to the top of the boxing world. He was a hero to many in Connecticut and attracted throngs of fans to his fights. At the height of his career, the outgoing Pep mingled with celebrities such as Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth and Frank Sinatra.

Georgetti said he was saddened that Pep's wake and funeral did not attract more representatives of the political community. About 300 attended the wake Monday night at the Rose Hill Funeral Home in Rocky Hill.

"I'm not saying that everyone should be there," Georgetti said, "but Willie is as close to a legend as this state has ever had."

Among those attending the wake were Superior Court Judges E. Curtissa R. Cofield and Christina G. Dunnell; and John J. Woodcock III, a lawyer and former state legislator. Michael Kostrzewa of the Department of Public Safety - which now oversees amateur and professional boxing in Connecticut - attended the funeral.

On the sidewalk before the 10 a.m. service, Rocco J. Mangiafico, 70, of Southington, displayed a small photo of himself and Pep at the Haven Health Center taken around 1990. Mangiafico said he visited Pep and reminded the fighter, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, of their days growing up in Hartford.

"I told him, I said, `Willie, don't you remember me from the gym,'" Mangiafico said. "He remembered me real good. We shook hands."

Deacon English said he had never met Pep until 2000, when he saw a woman with flowing red hair drive by in a white convertible with the vanity plate "LDYBUG." When told that the woman was Pep's wife, Barbara, English explained that he had been a lifelong fan. A six-year relationship was born.

Once a week, on either Tuesday or Wednesday, Barbara Pep would take English to see Willie in Rocky Hill. They would sit and sip coffee, talk about sports, news, the perils of aging and other topics.

English said he would always ask Pep, "How are you doing?" Pep would look him in the eyes and answer "OK, I guess." He said Pep then would always ask about him.

English said it wasn't until recently that Pep could no longer stick to the routine.

"If a man dies, what he can truly take with him is what he gives away," English said in his eulogy. "Willie Pep was a giver. Willie Pep was a gentleman. Willie Pep was a gentle man. Willie Pep was a champion."

GorDoom
11-29-2006, 01:37 PM
bump

wolgast
11-29-2006, 07:13 PM
I saw Pep fight in 1965 when I was in college. boxed a six-rounder in philly against a club fighter named jackie lennon. it was a pleasure to see him.

kikibalt
11-29-2006, 07:13 PM
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Elwill7847
11-29-2006, 09:45 PM
Willie Pep in my opinion was # 3 all time PFP behind Robinson and Armstrong.

RIP Willie.

GorDoom
11-30-2006, 05:57 PM
The artistry of Willie Pep
By Robert Cassidy Jr. from Sweet Science

There is an old boxing cliché that says, "Savagery sells tickets, artistry sells hot dogs."

Whoever said that never saw Willie Pep fight.

Willie Pep, the master boxer, died on Thanksgiving at the age of 84. He was a featherweight champion and a Hall-of-Famer with over 200 wins in a career that stretched over two decades. The obits have all been written and the career retrospectives have been rehashed. This piece is not about four fights with Sandy Saddler, the Lulu Perez controversy, plane crashes or gambling. This is an appreciation of a man who defined the art of boxing. This is a testimonial from those who witnessed him and studied him.


"At the absolute pinnacle, you can find some fault with even the greatest of the greats and Pep didn't have great punching power and he wasn't as strong as a lot of other featherweights," said boxing historian Mike Silver. "But he more than made up for that with taking boxing to a level that has not been seen since. It was a very sophisticated way of boxing. The greatest compliment, I think, any boxer could ever get was having Sugar Ray Robinson, say, and I remember him saying this, that he admired Pep's boxing ability more than any other fighter he'd ever seen."

Pep turned pro in 1940 and won the New York version of the featherweight title by decisioning Chalky Wright in 1942. He was champ until 1948 and made title defenses against Sal Bartolo, Phil Terranova, Jock Leslie and Humberto Sierra before running into another hall-of-famer, Sandy Saddler. Saddler stopped Pep in the fourth round of their first bout, but the Will o' the Wisp" regained the title four months later with a performance for the ages.

"His shining moment was the return bout with Sandy Saddler," said Silver. "Pep was never quite the same after suffering that injury in the plane crash. He was slightly diminished. He broke his back in a plane crash, most people don't know that. But Pep came back to defeat Saddler in a 15-round decision in what was one of the greatest boxing performances of all time. It was two great fighters against each other. But Pep had to be at his absolute best to do that. Without question it was one of the greatest pure boxing exhibitions that any boxer has staged since fighter's put on gloves."

Pep would make three more defenses after the Saddler rematch but would then lose two subsequent fights to Sandy and never challenged for the title again.

Although few films of Pep exist, Silver has studied several of his fights including the third and fourth Saddler fights and wins over Ralph Walton and Ray Famechon.

"His sense of timing was impeccable," said Silver. "If you watch his fights, he never moves too far out of position or too close where he can't land his punches properly. He was always in the right position. He did a lot of things you just don't see a lot of fighters do any more. His footwork was of a type that is also not seen today. You just watched his feet and it was a show itself. He was the Fred Astaire of boxing."

More succinctly put, Fabela Chavez said after his 1952 bout against Pep: "Fighting Pep is like trying to stamp out a fire."

Over the years, this writer has spoken to a pair of men with intimate knowledge of Pep. One shared the ring with him, the other viewed his mastery from the opposing corner.

The late and great trainer, Vic Zimet, trained Curley Nichols for a fight against Pep on May 4, 1942. Pep came way with an eight-round decision. "The fight was in New Haven and it was during the war years," recalled Zimet before he died. "We had to be back in New York the same night. I was in the Coast Guard and Curley was on my ship, a 110-foot cutter. Curley was doing well, holding his own. He was a good boxer, but not in the class of Willie Pep.

"Pep was a very clever boxer. He made extremely quick moves. I appreciate a fighter who can think. You could see his mind working and then he'd execute immediately. He was fun to watch because he was clever. Every move meant something. He was a throwback to the great thinking fighters like Benny Leonard. When I got back to New York I told everyone I just saw the next featherweight champion of the world. Six months later he beat Chalky Wright."

Pat Marcune fought Pep at Madison Square Garden on June 5, 1953 and was stopped in the 10th round. Marcune was tough and talented and beat the likes of Bill Bossio, Eddie Compo and Lauro Salas in his career. It was the 185th fight of Pep's 242-fight career and the former champion still had enough to win.

"Pep didn't hurt me," said Marcune. "I hit him. He's in front of you, in back of you. He's all over the damn place. But he never stood toe-to-toe with you. I still don't know why they stopped the fight. I wasn't hurt. I wasn't cut. I got knocked down, I got up. Petey Scalzo was the referee and he stopped the fight. I was a young kid and Pep was on his way out. But Pep was a great boxer. I don't think I could ever duplicate him. I don't think anyone could ever duplicate him. I don't feel bad that I lost to him. He wasn't a bum."

Indeed, he was not a bum. In fact, for years legend had it that Pep actually won a round without throwing a single punch. That myth was debunked when a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) researched Pep's fight against Jackie Graves in 1946.

"Even if that didn't happen, it was still believable, and that says even more about Pep than if it really happened" said Silver. "There is no other fighter you could even say that about and have it somewhat believable."

Pep retired in 1959, fighting long past his prime. He made a comeback in 1965 and won nine straight before being stopped in his final fight. After a 26-year-career, he retired with a record of 230-11-1 and 65 knockouts.

"If you couldn't write a complete obituary," mused Silver, "if all you could write was Willie Pep, former feather champ passes away and here is his record, 230-11-1, that would be enough. Just that record says enough. Think about those numbers. It's an amazing record."

kikibalt
12-01-2006, 06:40 PM
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kikibalt
12-04-2006, 07:24 PM
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mrbig1
12-05-2006, 08:04 PM
Willie Pep, that all you have to say. No need to go into detail. Willie Pep, the name means greatness,class,master boxer. To those of us who love boxing we are in awe of his greatness. Willie Pep, that's all you have to say. R.I.P.

GorDoom
12-12-2006, 04:26 PM
Willie Pep: A Personal Perspective
By Lee Groves from Max Boxing

I’ll never forget the first time I met Willie Pep. It was during my first visit to the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s induction weekend in 1993. Back then, I only attended the Saturday and Sunday events and the highlight of Saturday’s schedule was a series of three-round exhibitions by several Hall of Famers at a local high school gym.

A few hours before the event, I was inside the gym looking to fill my program with autographs when I recognized Pep standing a few feet away from me. Being a neophyte of the festivities, I had no idea Pep was going to be there so it was a thrill to be in the vicinity of someone of that stature. After he finished signing another person’s program I approached him and said, in my most polite tone, "may I have your autograph please?"

Then, suddenly, he turned and walked away. This was hardly the reaction I expected, and after my initial shock turned to disappointment and a touch of embarrassment, I began to depart. A few seconds later, I heard a voice over my shoulder.

"Hey! Don’t you want my autograph?"

It was Willie and he had a marker in his right hand. He saw that I had a ballpoint pen so he went to the effort of finding an indelible marker to ensure that his signature would last longer. Pep went the extra mile to satisfy a fan he had never met before and because of that the memory he created was as indelible as the autograph he gave me that day.

Over the next 13 years I would acquire more than 200 signatures, and for the last 11 years my copy of "The Great Book of Boxing" by Harry Mullan has served as the warehouse for those autographs. I managed to get Pep’s signature underneath a photo of his title-winning effort against Chalky Wright during Pep’s final visit to the IBHOF before falling ill with Alzheimer’s. It was Alzheimer’s that prompted Pep to move into the West Hill Convalescent Home in Rocky Hill, Conn., where he died last Thursday at age 84.

The exhibitions that took place on that summer day in 1993 featured plenty of horseplay and very little serious fighting. Carmen Basilio and Gene Fullmer, who fought two savage wars for the middleweight title more than three decades earlier, were now the best of friends and they had a great time messing around with each other and especially with the referee, who they double-teamed at one point.

Pep would have been right at home in this fun-loving atmosphere and over the years he proved he was just as quick with a quip as he was with a combination. Forty years after the peak of his career, an old opponent met Pep on the street. "Do you recognize me?" he asked. Willie looked hard and considered before finally replying, "lie down so I can recognize you."

Other quotes attributed to Pep include:

* "I've got it made. I have a refrigerator, a car and a wife – and they’re all working."

* "Spaghetti and meatballs killed more Italians than all the wars."

* "I lived through 241 professional fights and 65 amateur fights. That’s an awful lot of fights, and I’m all right now until I hear a bell. Then don’t get anywhere near me."

* "My whole career, I’ve had bad hands and I couldn’t understand it. But then I realized that the referee kept stepping on them."

* "My wives were good housekeepers. After the divorces, they kept the houses."

* "I followed one motto in my boxing career: He who hits and runs away lives to fight another day."

During one speech, Pep made a confession to the audience: "You’ve got to put one more loss down (on my record). I lost one more fight." Then, pointing into the audience, he said "to my wife, Barbara."

Willie’s son Billy Papaleo told this story: "One time in the corner, the guy’s saying ‘I want to fight Willie Pep. Damn it, I want to fight Willie Pep.’ And the trainer says, ‘how many times do I have to tell you, YOU are Willie Pep.’"

Pep, who was born Guglielmo Papaleo, remains the standard by which all defensive fighters are judged. Pep was the complete defensive package as he used his tremendous speed to slip, duck, dodge, parry and block his opponents’ blows. Then, just as quickly, he would maneuver himself into perfect position to strike his baffled opponent with a dizzying array of quick-fisted combinations. Pep was a whirlwind of motion as he instantaneously and instinctively shifted back and forth from offense to defense. Trained by Bill Gore, Pep masterfully executed one of boxing’s most complex and difficult styles night after night in town after town for year after year.

About five years ago, the moderator of my Internet boxing chat room group asked the members to put together top 10 lists for the major divisions and a top five list for the junior divisions. Just for fun, I decided to also assemble an all-time top 10 pound-for-pound list. Like most other historians, I rated Sugar Ray Robinson as boxing’s greatest pound-for-pound fighter but up until that point I had never done any research to justify my opinion. I just accepted the word of everyone else and I had watched enough film of Robinson over the years to feel secure about my opinion.

But once I began digging into the numbers I experienced an epiphany. Epiphanies don’t happen often to 36-year-olds, but this one was particularly powerful. Both Robinson and Pep enjoyed a pair of long unbeaten strings and had very similar records after 130-plus pro fights. At one point, Robinson was 129-1-2 while Pep was 136-1-1. Robinson had a 40-fight win streak to begin his career (a string broken by Jake LaMotta in their second fight) while Pep won his first 63 fights before dropping a decision to future lightweight champion Sammy Angott. Then, Robinson went unbeaten in his next 91 fights (with two draws) while Pep was unbeaten in his next 73 (with one draw). So I discovered that Pep was the only champion who ever put together two unbeaten streaks of more than 60 fights. That planted the first seed in my mind.

Then I found that from the time Robinson first won the middleweight title from LaMotta in 1951 to his final 160-pound title shot against Fullmer in 1961, Robinson was a mere 23-8-1. Most people remember Robinson for his exploits as a middleweight and more than a few historians believed Robinson cemented his greatness during his 10 years in the championship picture. But Robinson’s surprisingly modest record during that time forced me to rethink my previous position. After all, I thought, shouldn’t the best fighter who ever lived have done better during the time of his career when he was crafting his greatest legacy? Pep’s exploits were beginning to look better and better to me.

What finally changed my mind was the fact that Pep crafted a better overall record (230-11-1 with 65 knockouts vs. 174-19-6 with 109 knockouts and two no-contests) over a similar time frame (26 years to 25 years) without the benefit of one-punch knockout power.

Robinson was at a career crossroads in his second fight with Randy Turpin, the man who snapped Robinson’s 91-fight string two months previously. Turpin opened a nasty gash over Robinson’s eye and the fight was close to being stopped. A desperate Robinson turned on the jets, flooring Turpin with a mighty right to the jaw and finishing him with a furious assault along the ropes. Along with his amazing overall skills, the original "Sugar Ray" was blessed with magnificent punching power, and on this day it saved him from a potentially legacy-destroying defeat.

Pep, on the other hand, had no such safety net. He had to quickly establish a lead on the scorecards because he couldn’t depend on a big punch to bail himself out. Pep was forced to be on his game every second of every round to secure decisions, decisions that were rendered in his opponents’ hometowns from time to time. This, to me, required far more skill – and more greatness – to pull off.

In the end, I rated Pep first and Robinson third on my all-time list. Henry Armstrong was placed second because of his feat of holding three titles simultaneously along with his 20-defense reign as welterweight champion. It didn’t matter that Robinson held victories over both Pep (as an amateur) and Armstrong (when "Hammerin’ Hank" was far past his prime) because my criteria involved examining the entirety of their respective careers.

I went public with my pound-for-pound list shortly after I joined MaxBoxing as a full-time columnist in October 2005. Since then I’ve become a champion of sorts for Pep’s elevated standing in my own personal pantheon because it went so far against the grain of conventional wisdom. Most historians still contend that Robinson is the man atop boxing’s Mount Olympus, and I agree that the man born Walker Smith possessed the finest blend of speed, power, skill and intelligence the ring has ever known. But for me, Pep is the greatest of them all because he succeeded without the one equalizer that can right all wrongs.

Pep was always a man who wanted to do his best at whatever he did, so it shouldn’t have been any surprise when he walked away from me to retrieve a superior writing instrument. He wanted his imprint on my program to last forever, much like his imprint on his chosen sport.

Pep’s passing last Thursday means that the title of world’s greatest living fighter will be passed to Roberto Duran, whose Hall of Fame enshrinement is widely expected to be announced on December 7. Thousands of fans are expected to attend the induction weekend next June to honor a man whose fistic deeds inspire such passion and devotion. For those who plan to go, enjoy Duran’s elevation to the fullest but also take a moment to remember Pep, one of the weekend’s most popular celebrities for many years.

Willie Pep, "The Will O’ the Wisp," will forever be hailed for his skill, his grace in the ring and his sense of humor. But for me he will always be, and will always remain, the champion of champions.

Ron Lipton
12-14-2006, 10:19 PM
I am truly saddened by his passing.

He was a legend to me and it was an honor to have him present with Iceman Scully in Mass when I honored Willie in a speech at the Ken Norton man of the year awards, for the Rocky Marciano Foundation.

I got to spend some time with him twice in this life.
Once when I was with Emile Griffith at the old garden' s basement when Willie came there in 1965 with Barney Ross and Rocky Graziano. It was great day for me to talk with them and workout together.

How many people did actually show up for the funeral if anyone knows.

I think it a wonderful thing that John Scully was one of the pall bearers.

R.I.P. great warrior.