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· Anon.
1,562 Posts

Biofile Classic with Willie Pep 1922-2006

Published by Scoop Malinowski on December 27, 2010

Status: Boxing Hall of Famer. Former World Featherweight champion. Ring record was 229-11-1 (65 KO's).

Birthplace: Middletown, CT

Boxing Inspirations: "Lou Ambers, Joe Louis, Tony Canzoneri, Rocky Marciano - we were born in the same month in the same year. Wonderful man. Good friend. We used to go on trips together. I miss him."

Nicknames: "Willie The Wisp, William, Wonderful Willie."

First Job: "Shoeshine boy on the street. I used to have to fight everyday for a corner. It was dog-eat-dog for the best corner."

Early Boxing Memory: "I was 16 fighting as an amateur, making four or five dollars. Brought it home and gave it to my mother. One time I boxed twice and made $40. She said, 'Where did you get this money?' My dad said, 'See if you can fight twice a week.' He was making $15 a week. He used to wake me up to do road work."

Favorite Movies: "Good westerns and detective stories. Alan Ladd movies. I watch movies all the time. I can't remember the names. I had 306 fights. All those punches. Me and my wife are gonna watch a John Wayne movie tonight."

Pre-Fight Meal: "Broiled steak. Every fighter ate steak. A little salad. Jello. Hot tea and lemon."

Hobbies/Interests: "My wife Barbara - she's 39 and I'm 72. She's a nice girl, nice kid. A redhead. Been married eight years. I guess this is it."

Interesting Facts: "I was in the Army for 1 1/2 years and two years in the Navy. Also, I survived a plane crash in New Jersey in 1946. Flying from Miami. I was champ when I cracked up. Crashed in Middleville, N.J. How lucky we were. We landed in a wooded area, not a house. Four were dead. 21 were on the plane. I remember I was laying on the ground. Everybody was moaning. I was moaning. I was in agony. Broke my back. Compound fracture in left leg. Nine months in a cast. Six months later I had a fight and I won.

Greatest Sports Moment: "I had two or three. When I won the championship I was 20-years-old. I beat the greatest featherweight champ there ever was - Chalky Wright. A great fighter. He knocked everyone out. Outpointed him in 15 rounds at Madison Square Garden. What a night for me. It didn't dawm on me till later. My 54th straight win. I went up to 62. Lost to Sammy Angott, the lightweight champion. Then I went 73 straight without a loss. Then I lost to Sandy Saddler. I boxed 29 years. My first fight was when I was 15. I made a lot of money but I didn't save it. Grossed a million. I fought a lot of great fighters. Fought all over the world. I was a lucky guy."

First Pro Fight: "I had it in Hartford, a four-rounder. I don't remember who I fought (James McGovern in 1940). That's a long time ago. Scoop, I don't remember what I did yesterday. It was an outdoor fight at…they called it Capital Park. All I remember is I ran like hell for four rounds. I think the main event was a local guy - Jimmy Leto, a great, great welterweight. Fought for the title. I trained with him. He showed me everything. A great, great guy."

Hardest Puncher Encountered: "My third ex-wife [laughs]! Sandy Saddler was a good puncher. Chalky Wright. He was as hard a puncher as you could find. He knocked out welterweights. I outpointed him two times at 15 rounds. He never hit me solid. I was lucky to stay out of trouble. If he put two punches together, I'd have been in trouble."

Most Painful Moment: "I was TKO'ed by Sandy Saddler. I don't like to talk about that Scoop, three knockdowns, 4th-round TKO. But I won the return, a 15-round decision. Then we had two more which he won (by TKO). I was TKO'ed five times in 11 losses but Saddler is the only guy who sticks out cause he gave me a lot of trouble."

Toughest Opponents: "A good boxer always gave me a tough time. Sal Bartolo and Alli Stolz were clever boxers. They boxed and I boxed. I had to outspeed them, outthink and outsmart them. I got very lucky, because I did. Sandy Saddler and Phil Terranova were tough guys. Hard punchers."

Funniest Boxers: "Rocky Graziano. He had the best sense of humor. A wonderful guy. Very funny. Jake Lamotta. He comes across as mean but he's all right."

Did Anybody Try To Intimidate You: "Nobody ever bothered me. I had a good manager and trainer. I was always with them. Never got bothered by anybody. A couple of guys talked to me. Chalky Wright used to say, 'Why don't you stand still?' In the clinch he'd say, 'Stand still! So I can hit you!' Phil Terranova talked. He licked Sandy Saddler. He said, 'Come on kid, let's give 'em a fight.' And 'Let's go! Let's trade punches!' I said, 'No way!' I outboxed him for 15 rounds."

Which Fight Were You At Your Very Best: "My third ex-wife, when I divorced her. We got divorced real easy. Scoop I had a lot of fights. A long time ago. I couldn't tell you what fight I was at my best. Saddler. I did lick him once in four fights. Terranova - tough son of a gun. I beat him. He did something I couldn't do - go 1-1 with Saddler. Every fight I was TKO'ed I was winning."

People Qualities Most Admired: "A lot of people. My trainer Bill Gore. Without him I couldn't have been champ. I was well-schooled. Lou Viscusi, my manager. He made me win all those fights. I wouldn't have been a very good fighter without them helping me. I don't think anyone ever won more fights than me. Must be some kind of record. Little, old me, in Wethersfield, CT. I'm very proud of that."

How Would You Like To Be Remembered By Boxing: "Well, Scoop, I did my thing. I got to be champ of the world. That was a very, very big night for me. And I did something no one ever did. I was in Minneapolis to fight Jackie Graves (1946). He was a good puncher, knocking everyone out. I was talking with Don Riley, a sportswriter from Minneapolis. I told him I was gonna do something in the third round. I said, 'I'm not gonna throw a punch and see what happens.' In the third round, of course, he throws punches. I circled the guy, circled the referee, did everything but I never threw a punch. And all three judges gave me the round. Don Riley writes about it every year and he sends it to me. It's a big, big thing for me. I'm very proud of it. Because no one else ever did it."

· Anon.
1,562 Posts
Once Upon a Time: Sugar Ray once fought Willie Pep in Norwich

For The Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jan 03, 2009 @ 11:15 PM

Once upon a time, one of boxing's most historic chapters was written in Norwich.

It happened in 1938 and pitted two future world championship boxers against each other in the greatest mismatch in boxing history. I intended to write the story last year, because of the 70th anniversary of that event, so I thought, as the first story in 2009, I would recount the boxing history made in Norwich so many years ago.

In those years, the names I recall associated with the Du-Well were Lou Pinalore, Jimmy, Dominic and Bill Pedace, the Lacois, Pineaults, Woodmansees and Casentinos.

The old car barn, as it was and still is known, is on North Main Street and once served as a repair shop for locomotives and railroad cars. During the 1930s and 1940s, it was the site of Norwich's first trade school. At the south end of the building was the Checkerboard Feed Co.

Upstairs over the Checkerboard was a big hall, unheated, with bleachers on four sides of a prize-fighting ring. It was in that ring in 1938 that two of America's all-time greats met in the most unlikely contest in boxing history.

Fake name
Willie Pep weighed 105 pounds and was ranked a flyweight. The fighter he went up against was then a welterweight fighting under the fictitious name of Ray Roberts. Willie Pep was at least 42 pounds lighter than his opponent. This single fight would cost Willie Pep his perfect, no-loss, amateur record. It would be next to impossible for Pep to win, even if the welterweight was only an average boxer. His opponent that night, however, was no run-of-the mill amateur. Willie Pep was fighting Sugar Ray Robinson - perhaps the greatest middleweight champion the sport has known.

When I first wrote this story back in 1991, it was said to be the most outrageous, untold story in boxing history. Several local boxing enthusiasts had told me of the fight - Bob Woodmansee and John Quigley, among others. But it was so unbelievable that I hesitated to write the story.
My secretary, Fran Rondeau, who writes these stories for me every week, checked the Hartford phone book for Willie Pep's true name (which is Papaleo). There was only one with that spelling, and so I called. The voice that answered said, "Hello," and I said, "Hello. Is this Willie Pep?"


"The boxer? The champion?"

"Yes. How many Willie Peps are there?"

"Only one," I said and asked if he remembered fighting in Norwich years ago.

Willie said, "I fought in Norwich half a dozen times as an amateur. It was a great boxing town. I had a lot of friends there."

We talked for awhile. I was afraid he would laugh at me if I asked him if he fought Sugar Ray Robinson. Finally I said, "Willie, there's a rumor in town that you once fought Sugar Ray in Norwich."

Without hesitation he said, "That's true. I fought him for the Du-Well A.C. It was 1938, and that fight was upstairs in a downtown building. Sugar Ray fought under the name of Ray Roberts. Ray always used that name when he fought in the amateurs."

Willie continued, "Ray's real name was Walker Smith. He wiped me out that night, and it was my only amateur loss. I was a flyweight at 105 pounds, and Sugar Ray, a welterweight."

So, there you have it. The fight remembered by the champion himself, for Willie Pep was truly the greatest featherweight champion of all time.

As Willie Pep said, years ago, Norwich was a good boxing town and the boxing capital of Eastern Connecticut. The Du-Well A.C., which operated from its location on the East Side, and the Elks were the big sponsors of boxing. Names such as Ray Lord, Jimmy Quinn, Ralph Bargnesi, Julius Sisco (The Sisco Kid), Walter Bartnicki, Benny Dempsky, Walter Macon (the "Plow Boy"), "Big Boy Burlap," "Kid Chappe," Pepper Martin and Vic Darr were some of the locals, and more recently, Kenny Adams.

Future champs
Boxing was big in Norwich, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1930s, it was the Elks who sponsored many fights at the old fairgrounds, and some future world champions fought in Norwich on their way to the top.

Willie Pep and Sugar Ray Robinson often fought in Norwich, and when they were champions, they would referee locally.

The Rev. George Donahue was the State Boxing Commissioner, and The Norwich Bulletin played a major part in the success of local boxing. The sports page promoted the fights, and in the winter months they were held at the Armory on McKinley Avenue - often to full houses.

The Du-Well Club, earlier in the 1930s and 1940s, had fights every other Friday night upstairs over the old Checkerboard Feed Store in the car barn. Old-timers recall boxers were paid $9 if they lost and $20 if they won.

As a boy, my dad used to take me to the fights. He liked to go to the dressing room and listen to the fighters talk. So, of course, that's where I went. The dressing room had sheets hung over ropes (like backyard clotheslines) to separate the fighters from the crowd. There were no showers. They were all three-round fights in those days. Some of the fights were held in the vacant, old St. Mary's Church.

The Pedaces were civic leaders on the East Side (where they lived) and in boxing. Active in the Du-Well A.C. and the Elks, the Pedaces played a major role. Jimmy Pedace not only covered the city desk for The Bulletin, he also was the local boxing commissioner. Dominic Pedace and Archie Spaulding took care of the box office. Bill Pedace managed Pepper Martin and also was the ring announcer.

Ray Lord was one of several local hands-on managers. Ray was a fighter himself, and he took great pride in managing young fighters. One of his most promising was Kenny Adams, who was later a local contractor and died in an auto accident.

Gave his time
Ray Lord was a beautiful manager. He was concerned for his fighters and was one of the most wonderful men I have ever known.

His whole life was dedicated to other people. When boxing faded from the Norwich scene, Ray Lord gave his time and talent to veterans' affairs.

Willie Pep fought often in Norwich before he was a champion, and he gave exhibition fights in Norwich when he was a champion.

He also refereed after he left boxing, and if Willie Pep was the best the world had ever seen, Norwich's boxing history records the champion fought some of the most memorable fights at the Old Elks Fairground and the Norwich Armory.

The most historic of all was the fight in 1938 at the old car barn with Sugar Ray Robinson.

Another little known fact, but absolutely true: Sugar Ray Robinson, the legendary middleweight champion, fought his very first amateur fight in Norwich, once upon a time.

Read more: Once Upon a Time: Sugar Ray once fought Willie Pep in Norwich - Bill Stanley - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

Here's a exhibition from 1965:


· Anon.
1,562 Posts
Could Pep have won a round without landing a single punch?

In his illustrious career, Willie Pep had 229 career wins, boxed 1,956 rounds and won the featherweight championship twice. Why, then, did Pep want to be remembered more than anything for winning a round -- without landing a punch?

Originally Published: August 6, 2008
By Don Stradley | Special to

In Willie Pep's later years, he was known to carry a folded newspaper article in his wallet. The article was about his 1946 fight with Jackie Graves, the one in which Pep allegedly won a round without throwing a punch.

When young reporters sought him out, Pep would produce the article and say, "That's all you need to know about me." Then he'd jam the article back in with the family photos, horse tips and credit cards.

Pep had 229 career wins, boxed 1,956 rounds, won the featherweight championship twice and generally is regarded as one of boxing's best fighters. Yet, Pep wanted to be known for something most boxing people considered a myth.

Some skeptics have alleged that the newspaper article was actually typed by Pep himself; others say it was a copy of a story written by the man responsible for creating the myth, St. Paul sports writer Don Riley.

Riley had been assigned to cover the Pep-Graves fight for Minneapolis radio station WMIN. Before the bout, Riley visited Pep's training camp at Nicollet Park, hoping to soak up some prefight atmosphere.

"Hey, Willie," Riley said. "What round will you knock Graves out?"

Pep laughed. "If he starts hurting me, I'll have to get him out of there. But I never try to knock guys out because it busts up my hands."

Pep fought almost every week in the 1940s. A hand injury meant a missed payday. Pep wondered aloud whether a fighter with "busted-up" hands could fake well enough to fool the judges and the spectators.

"Pick a round," Pep said. "I'll throw punches, but I'll never hit him. Check the scorecards after, and see if the judges fall for it."

Riley picked the third.

The fight itself shook the walls of the Minneapolis Auditorium. Graves sent Pep to the canvas twice; Pep dropped Graves nine times, winning by a TKO in the eighth round.

The third round, though, has been a point of contention for years. Riley insists that Pep swept the scorecards without making any contact.

"It was an amazing display of defensive boxing skill so adroit, so cunning, so subtle that the roaring crowd did not notice Pep's tactics were completely without offense," Riley would write many years later.

Even skeptics agreed that if anyone could pull off such a stunt, it would be Pep.

In 2003, the tale began to split at the seams. published a story on Graves by Minnesota writer Jake Wegner that included a reprint of the original ringside report filed by Joe Hennessy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Of special interest was Hennessy's description of the third round.

"A clicker couldn't count the blows," Hennessy wrote. "Pep punched Jack into the ropes as the most even round of the evening ended."

Wegner's find seemed to prove that Riley's story was a fable. Still, not everyone buys Hennessy's report.

Instead of saying Pep won a round without throwing a punch, say he won a round without landing one. There's a difference. Besides, sports writers in those days wrote whatever the hell they wanted.

-- Bert Sugar, on why he puts more credence in Pep's take on the fight
"I give Willie Pep the benefit of the doubt," said Bert Sugar, suggesting that a legend can be as fragile as the language that preserves it.

"Instead of saying Pep won a round without throwing a punch, say he won a round without landing one. There's a difference," Sugar said. "Besides, sports writers in those days wrote whatever the hell they wanted."

Fight coverage could be slipshod in 1946. For instance, the UPI report of the bout had Graves knocking Pep down four times, but other reports have Pep down twice. Meanwhile, The Associated Press' account of the fight does not mention Graves knocking Pep down at all.

With such uneven coverage, can Hennessy's report be accepted as gospel? Riley quickly dismissed Hennessy as a competent witness under the circumstances.

"Joe Hennessy was a beautiful guy, but if you weren't clued in, you wouldn't realize Pep's punches were all feints," Riley said.

Hennessy, who died a few years ago, eventually was fired by the Pioneer Press for being, among other things, unreliable.

"He eventually became an outstanding editor at the Star," Riley said. "But in '46, he was not at his best."

"He was the typical reporter from that era," recalled Ron Schara, a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I remember him with his bowtie and a cigar, banging the keys, pressured by deadlines. He came from the old school where the quality of a story varied depending on the number of cocktails he'd had. Joe had his share of those. By the time I knew him his drinking days were long over, but he'd had quite a colorful past."

Not everyone takes Riley's word as gospel either, however.

"Riley gives a different version of the story every time he tells it," Wegner said. "He gets testy if you push him. Sometimes he just cackles and says, 'Who can remember?"

One of the earliest printed references to the third round and what supposedly happened was in May 1970 when Pep was interviewed by author Peter Heller.

"I jabbed him a few times, but most of the round, I was bobbing and weaving and making him miss," Pep said in that interview.

Pep's words -- "I jabbed him a few times" -- are revealing. Could he have been feinting with those jabs?

"He'd [Pep] spin him around, maybe slap his ears, and then he'd be gone," Riley told "After the fight, Willie said to me, 'Hey, didn't I do a good job in the third round? I didn't hit your buddy.' Of course, I was looking for it, so I knew what I was seeing. I couldn't say anything over the air, but if you heard the broadcast, I think I said, 'Pep did no damage in that round.'"

When asked why he didn't mention Pep's pantomime right away, Riley said, "I was busy writing and doing broadcasts. It just slipped my mind."

A popular theory among St. Paul's fight scene is that Pep and Riley concocted the story together. Because there was no footage of the fight, it would be their word against everyone else's.

"Why would I make up a story?" Riley said in his defense. "What would I have to gain? I covered 36 fights, and Pep left a big impression on me. That's all."

Riley believes the story got out in 1968.

"We had a reunion breakfast at the Hilton hotel," Riley said. "Jackie [Graves] and Willie were there. I reminded Willie of the third round. Jackie didn't know what we were talking about, so we told him. Jackie said, 'Willie, if you could win a round without landing a punch, why didn't you do that for the entire fight? You could've won going away, without beating the hell out of me!'"

The story gathered momentum, culminating when acclaimed boxing writer Red Smith recounted it in a 1975 New York Times column. According to Riley, "Willie promoted it some himself."

Wegner told, "I like Riley, but I don't believe Riley. You don't keep a story like that on the back burner for 25 years." Wegner has discussed Riley's story with more than a dozen eyewitnesses. "They all say it's a crock. Maybe Riley and Pep had a conversation before the fight, but by all accounts, Pep was fighting in the third round, not hiding behind the referee."

Wegner's arguments sound valid. But Riley sounds convincing, too.

Could they both be right?

There is a possibility that Pep did turn the trick but did so against another fighter. Pep fought in Minneapolis three times in 1946. Along with beating Graves, he won easy decisions over journeymen Paulie Jackson and Jimmy Joyce.

"I remember winning a round without throwing a punch. I did do that, I think, to Jackie Graves," Pep said during the 1970 Heller interview in which he sounded unsure that Graves was the opponent.

Perhaps as Riley and Pep reminisced, they mistakenly attached Graves' name to the story. It's not unusual for fighters -- and writers -- to confuse names. Graves always held Pep in high regard, but when he was interviewed in 2003, he remembered very little about the fight.

By the 1970s and '80s, Pep was under fire because of his gambling habit.

A Willie Pep biopic starring teen idol Frankie Avalon was discussed, but it never happened. A book Pep wrote didn't sell. He married a sixth time. For a while, he acted as Connecticut's deputy boxing commissioner, and he eventually did well on the personal appearance circuit, earning money just by being Willie Pep.

But whether he was telling jokes to a gathering of fans, or standing before a judge and jury, the myth of the Graves fight remained in Pep's wallet, never too far out of reach.

Don Stradley is a regular contributor to The Ring.

· Anon.
1,562 Posts
"From The Vaults" - Interview with Willie Pep

By Kirk Lang

Former two-time featherweight champion Willie Pep was one of the greatest fighters of all-time. In his prime, "The Will O' The Wisp" was untouchable. At one point, he boasted a record of 135-1-1.

It wasn't until after he broke his back in a January 1947 plane crash, in which other passengers had died, that Pep would suffer subsequent losses in the ring. Doctors told him he would never fight again. However, five months after the accident, Pep returned to the ring and didn't hang up the gloves until 1966.

Unlike other fighters whose careers spanned a quarter-century or more, Pep, who turned pro in 1940, was not a big puncher. He had to rely on his superior boxing skill to get him to victory.

Even though Pep fought on into his 40s, he still retired with an amazing record of 230-11-1, 65 KOs (some accounts list Pep with 229 victories).

Pep passed away on Thanksgiving 2006 but is proud to bring you a preserved-on-tape interview with the man widely considered the greatest defensive fighter to step between the ropes.

How did it feel to win a world title at Madison Square Garden (against Chalky Wright)?

When you win a title at The Garden, that's a very big thrill. Everybody wants to fight at The Garden. I was 20 years old.

Tell me about your loss to Sammy Angott, also known as "The Clutch", the only person to defeat you in your first 137 professional fights.

He was lightweight champion of the world. I beat him. I didn't get it. That's all. I beat him in Madison Square Garden. They gave him the decision. I didn't have a mark on my face after the fight. I out-boxed him.

What was the secret to your success in the ring?

Speed. If I didn't train, if I wasn't in shape, they'd kick the crap out of me, because I relied on speed. I had to have my speed. I wasn't a knockout puncher but if I hit you hard enough I could hurt you. I was a pretty lucky guy. My trainer Bill Gore was the greatest trainer who ever lived. He made a champ out of me. And my manager, Lou Viscousi, he was a great manager. He made me win 62 in a row and then 73 in a row.

You were in the Navy while you were featherweight champion. How was that experience?

I said, "They're going to draft me anyway, let me go in and do my bit." I went down and said I wanted to join the Army. The guy said, "Forget the Army, join the Navy. You'll love the Navy." So I join the Navy and they made me water boy for the football team. I was champion of the world. Can you believe that? I hated the Navy. I was the water boy to the football team for Christ sakes. They treated me very unfair. I was in the Navy for two-and-a-half years. After I got out, I was inducted into the Army. So I go down to the draft board and said, "I was in the Navy for two-and-a-half years." He said, "Look, the Navy don't want you. The Army will take you." So I'm in the Army. I did another year in the Army. I had a soft job. I was an MP in the guardhouse. I did nothing to speak of. They gave me a gun and a club, and I used to go to sleep in the jailhouse. I was very poorly handled. I didn't get to give any speeches. Nothing. But I had a soft job in the Army being an MP. They do nothing but guard the jail.

You broke your back in the 1947 plane crash you were in. Do you think you were a step slower when you returned to the ring?

It has to slow you down, but I was always a speedster. They told me I'd never fight again but I said, "Look, I'm a fighter." I got hurt in January. I had a cast on my chest and a cast on my leg for five months. They took the cast off in June. I boxed in July. I didn't fight any champion of the world. I fought an ordinary guy and so I did very well with him. He was a tough kid. He kept coming but I kept out-boxing him, and I was on my way.

About a year later, you ran into your nemesis, the freakishly tall and powerful Sandy Saddler, for the first time.

Listen, Kirk, that's the one guy I don't want to talk about (Pep says jokingly). You know, he beat me three times. He was a tough guy. In a clinch, he'd rough you up a little bit and he'd bang you a little bit but I don't have any excuses. He beat me. But I beat him the greatest fight of his life. Fifteen rounds. Madison Square Garden. I won 11 out of 15 rounds. And I beat eight guys that beat him, but that's the way things are, you know? One guy's meat is another guy's poison.

Is it true you were a close friend of former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano?

He lived in Brockton, Massachusetts. That's 40 miles from here (Hartford area). One time he called me up and said, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm not sure yet." Rocky said, "Why don't you come on and pick me up? We'll go to New York." I said, "You want me to drive all the way to Brockton, MA and pick you up? That's 45 miles away and then we have to backtrack to New York." I said, "No, you get over here and we'll go from here." He was tight with his money but he was a wonderful guy. He was a nice man. We were both Virgos. Rocky was a wonderful guy. I really miss him. You gotta miss a guy like that.

What was the greatest moment of your career?

When I got paid (Pep says jokingly).

Was it getting revenge and beating Saddler in the rematch or winning the title for the first time, against Wright?

Well, when you win the title, it's always a big thing. I was champion of the world at 20 years old. But beating Saddler, that was the greatest fight of my life.

If there's one thing you want people to remember about you, or your career, what is it?

That I was a pretty good fighter and that I'm the only guy that won a round without throwing a punch. I did it against Jackie Graves. I told a sportswriter before the fight I wasn't going to throw a punch. I spun him. I slipped punches. I blocked punches, but I didn't throw a punch. He fell down. He went through the ropes, but he never hit me. I never hit him. So at the end of the round, the judges gave me the round, in his hometown. I was very proud of that.

· Premium Member
13,352 Posts
Anyone know of footage of Pep/Angott? Pep is probably my all time favourite fighter - brilliant dude! This thread has just become the best on CHB

· Anon.
1,562 Posts
Willie Pep Professional Record: 229-11-1 (65)


25-Jul Joey Marcus W 4 Hartford, Connecticut
8-Aug Joey Wasnick W KO 3 Hartford, Connecticut
29-Aug Tommy Burns W TKO 4 Hartford, Connecticut
5-Sept Joey Marcus W 4 Waterbury, Connecticut
19-Sept Jack Moore W 6 Hartford, Connecticut
3-Oct Jimmy Richie W TKO 3 Waterbury, Connecticut
24-Oct James McGovern W 4 New Haven, Connecticut
22-Nov Carlo Daponde W TKO 6 New Britain, Connecticut
29-Nov Frank Topazio W TKO 5 New Britain, Connecticut
6-Dec Jim Mutane W KO 2 New Britain, Connecticut


13-Jan Joe Echevarria W 6 Holyoke, Massachusetts
28-Jan Augie Almeda W TKO 6 New Haven, Connecticut
10-Feb Don Lyons W KO 2 Holyoke, Massachusetts
17-Feb Ruby Garcia W 6 Holyoke, Massachusetts
3-Mar Ruby Garcia W 6 Holyoke, Massachusetts
25-Mar Marty Shapiro W 6 Hartford, Connecticut
31-Mar Joey Gatto W KO2 Holyoke, Massachusetts
14-Apr Henry Vasquez W 6 Holyoke, Massachusetts
22-Apr Joey Silva W 6 Hartford, Connecticut
6-May Lou Pugliese W KO 2 Hartford, Connecticut
12-May Johnny Cockfield W 6 Holyoke, Massachusetts
19-Jun Harry Hintilan W 6 Manchester, Connecticut
24-Jun Eddie DeAngelis W TKO 3 Hartford, Connecticut
15-Jul Jimmy Gilligan W 8 Hartford, Connecticut
5-Aug Paul Frechette W TKO 3 Hartford, Connecticut
11-Aug Eddie Flores W KO 1 Thompsonville, Connecticut
26-Sept Jackie Harris W TKO 1 New Haven, Connecticut
10-Oct Carlos Manzano W 8 New Haven, Connecticut
21-Oct Connie Savoie W TKO 2 Hartford, Connecticut
7-Nov Buddy Spencer W 4 Hollywood, CA
24-Nov Davey Crawford W 8 Holyoke, Massachusetts
12-Dec Ruby Garcia W 4 MSG, New York, NY


8-Jan Mexican Joe Rivers W TKO 4 Fall River, Massachusetts
16-Jan Sammy Parotta W 4 MSG, New York, NY
27-Jan Abie Kaufman W8 Hartford, Connecticut
10-Feb Angelo Callura W8 Hartford, Connecticut
24-Feb Willie Roache W8 Hartford, Connecticut
18-Mar Johnny Compo W8 New Haven, Connecticut
14-Apr Spider Armstrong W KO 4 Hartford, Connecticut
4-May Curley Nichols W 8 Hartford, Connecticut
12-May Aaron Seltzer W 8 Hartford, Connecticut
26-May Joey Lannotti W 8 Hartford, Connecticut
23-Jun Joey Archibald W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
21-Jul Abe Denner W 12 Hartford, Connecticut
1-Aug Joey Silva W RTD 7 Waterbury, Connecticut
10-Aug Pedro Hernandez W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
20-Aug Nat Litfin W 10 West Haven, Connecticut
1-Sept Bobby Ivy W TKO 10 Hartford, Connecticut
10-Sept Frank Franconeri W TKO 1 MSG, New York, NY
22-Sept Vince Dell'Orto W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
5-Oct Bobby McIntire W 10 Holyoke, Massachusetts
16-Oct Joey Archibald W UD 10 Providence, Rhode Island
27-Oct George Zengaras W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
20-Nov Chalky Wright W 15 MSG, New York, NY
NYSAC World Featherweight title
14-Dec Jose Aponte W TKO 7 Washington DC
21-Dec Joey Silva W RTD 9 Jacksonville, Florida


4-Jan Vince Dell' Orto W 10 New Orleans, Louisiana
19-Jan Bill Speary W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
29-Jan Allie Stolz W 10 MSG, New York, NY
11-Feb Davey Crawford W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
15-Feb Bill Speary W 10 Baltimore, Maryland
3-Mar Lou Transparenti W KO 6 Hartford, Connecticut
19-Mar Sammy Angott L 10 MSG, New York, NY
29-Mar Bobby McIntire W 10 Detroit, Michigan
9-Apr Sal Bartolo W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
19-Apr Angel Aviles W 10 Tampa, Florida
26-Apr Jackie wilson W 12 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
8-Jun Sal Bartolo W 15 Boston, Massachusetts
NYSAC World Featherweight title


4-Apr Leo Francis W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
20-Apr Snooks Lacey W 10 New Haven, Connecticut
1-May Jackie Leamus W 10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
19-May Frankie Rubino W 10 Chicago, Illinois
23-May Joey Bagnato W KO 2 Buffalo, NY
6-Jun Julie Kogon W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
7-Jul Willie Joyce W 10 Chicago, Illinois
17-Jul Manuel Ortiz W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
4-Aug Lulu Costantino W 10 Waterbury, Connecticut
28-Aug Joey Peralta W 10 West Springfield, Massachusetts
19-Sept Charley Cabey Lewis W TKO 8 Hartford, Connecticut
29-Sept Chalky Wright W 15 MSG, New York, NY
NYSAC World Featherweight title
25-Oct Jackie Leamus W 10 Montreal, Quebec
14-Nov Charley Cabey Lewis W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
27-Nov Pedro Hernandez W 10 Washington DC
5-Dec Chalky Wright W 10 Cleveland, Ohio


23-Jan Ralph Walton W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
5-Feb Willie Roache W 10 New Haven, Connecticut
19-Feb Phil Terranova W 15 MSG, New York, NY
NYSAC World Featherweight title
30-Oct Paulie Jackson W 15 Hartford, Connecticut
5-Nov Mike Martyk W TKO 5 Buffalo, NY
26-Nov Eddie Giosa W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
5-Dec Harold Gibson W 10 Lewiston, Maine
13-Dec Jimmy McAllister D 10 Baltimore, Maryland


15-Jan Johnny Virgo W KO 2 Buffalo, NY
13-Feb Jimmy Joyce W 10 Buffalo, NY
1-Mar Jimmy McAllister W KO 2 MSG, New York, NY
26-Mar Jackie Wilson W 10 Kansas City, Missouri
8-Apr Georgie Knox W TKO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
6-May Ernie Petrone W 10 Providence, Rhode Island
13-May Joey Angelo W 10 Kansas City, Missouri
22-May Jose Aponte Torres W 10 Saint Louis, Missouri
27-May Jimmy Joyce W 8 Minneapolis, Minnesota
7-June Sal Bartolo W KO 12 MSG, New York, NY
NYSAC - NBA World Featherweight title
10-Jul Harold Gibson W TKO 7 Buffalo, NY
25-Jul Jackie Graves W TKO 8 Minneapolis, Minnesota
26-Aug Doll Rafferty W KO 6 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
4-Sept Walter Kolby W TKO 5 Buffalo, NY
17-Sept Lefty LaChance W TKO 3 Hartford, Connecticut
1-Nov Paulie Jackson W 10 Minneapolis, Minnesota
15-Nov Tomas Beato W KO 2 Waterbury, Connecticut
27-Nov Chalky Wright W KO 3 Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Willie Pep suffered serious Injuries in a plane crash on 5th-Jan-1947; astonishingly Pep was back in the ring six months later.

17-Jun Victor Flores W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
1-Jul Joey Fontana W KO 5 Albany, New York
8-Jul Leo LeBran W 8 Norwalk, Connecticut
11-Jul Jean Barriere W KO 4 North Adams, Massachusetts
15-Jul Paulie Jackson W 10 New Bedford, Massachusetts
23-Jul Humberto Sierra W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
22-Aug Jock Leslie W KO 12 Flint, Michigan
World Featherweight title
21-Oct Jean Barriere W KO 1 Portland, Maine
27-Oct Archie Wilmer W 10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
22-Dec Alvaro Estrada W 10 Lewiston, Maine
30-Dec Lefty LaChance W TKO 8 Manchester, New Hampshire


6-Jan Pedro Biesca W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
12-Jan Jimmy McCallister W 10 Saint Louis, Missouri
19-Jan Joey Angelo W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
24-Feb Humberto Sierra W 10 Miami, Florida
World Featherweight title
7-May Leroy Willis W 10 Detroit, Michigan
19-May Charley Cabey Lewis W 10 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
17-Jun Miguel Acevedo W 10 Minneapolis, Minnesota
25-Jun Luther Burgess W 10 Flint, Michigan
28-Jul Young Junior W KO 1 Utica, NY
3-Aug Teddy Davis W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
17-Aug Teddy Davis W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
2-Sept Johnny Dell W TKO 8 Waterbury, Connecticut
10-Sept Paddy DeMarco W 10 MSG, New York, NY
12-Oct Chuck Burton W 8 Jersey City, New Jersey
19-Oct Johnny LaRusso W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
29-Oct Sandy Saddler L KO 4 MSG, New York, NY
World Featherweight title
20-Dec Hermie Freeman W 10 Boston, Massachusetts


17-Jan Teddy Davis W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
11-Feb Sandy Saddler W 15 MSG, New York, NY
World Featherweight title
6-Jun Luis Ramos W 10 New Haven, Connecticut
14-Jun Al Pennino W 10 Pittsfield, Massachusetts
20-Jun Johnny LaRusso W 10 West Springfield, Massachusetts
12-Jul Jean Mougin W 10 Syracuse, NY
20-Sept Eddie Compo W TKO 7 Waterbury, Connecticut
World Featherweight title
12-Dec Harold Dade W 10 Saint Louis, Missouri


16-Jan Charley Riley W KO 5 Saint Louis, Missouri
World Featherweight title
6-Feb Roy Andrews W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
22-Feb Jimmy Warren W 10 Miami, Florida
17-Mar Ray Famechon W 15 MSG, New York, NY
World Featherweight title
15-May Art Llanos W KO 2 Hartford, Connecticut
1-Jun Terry Young W 10 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
26-Jun Bobby Timpson W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
25-Jul Bobby Bell W 10 Washington DC
2-Aug Proctor Heinhold W 10 Scranton, Pennsylvania
8-Sept Sandy Saddler L RTD 8 New York, NY
World Featherweight title


30-Jan Tommy Baker W TKO 4 Scranton, Pennsylvania
26-Feb Billy Hogan W TKO 2 Sarasota, Florida
5-Mar Carlos Chavez W 10 New Orleans, Louisiana
26-Mar Pat Lacobucci W 10 Miami Beach, Florida
17-Apr Baby Neff Ortiz W TKO 5 Saint Louis, Missouri
27-Apr Eddie Chavez W 10 San Francisco, CA
4-Jun Jesus Compos W 10 Baltimore, Maryland
4-Sept Corky Gonzales W 10 New Orleans, Louisiana
26-Sept Sandy Saddler L RTD 9 New York, NY
World Featherweight title


29-Apr Santiago Gonzalez W 10 Tampa, Florida
5-May Kenny Leach W 10 Columbus, Georgia
10-May Buddy Baggett W KO 5 Aiken, South Carolina
21-May Claude Hammond W 10 Miami Beach, Florida
30-Jun Tommy Collins L TKO 6 Boston, Massachusetts
3-Sept Billy Lima W 10 Pensacola, Florida
11-Sept Bobby Woods W 10 Vancouver, Canada
1-Oct Armand Savoie W 10 Chicago, Illinois
20-Oct Billy Lima W 10 Jacksonville, Florida
5-Nov Manny Castro W TKO 5 Miami Beach, Florida
19-Nov Fabela Chavez W 10 Saint Louis, Missouri
5-Dec Jorge Sanchez W 10 West Palm Beach, Florida


19-Jan Billy Lauderdale W 10 Nassau, Bahamas
27-Jan Dave Mitchell W 10 Miami Beach, Florida
10-Feb Jose Pepe Alvarez W 15 San Antonio
31-Mar Joey Gambino W 10 Tampa, Florida
7-Apr Noel Paquette W 10 Miami Beach
13-May Jackie Blair W 10 Fort Worth, Texas
5-Jun Pat Marcune W 10 MSG, New York, NY
21-Nov Sonny Luciano W 10 Charlotte, North Carolina
4-Dec Davey Allen W 10 West Palm Beach, Florida
8-Dec Billy Lima W KO 2 Houston, Texas
15-Dec Tony Longo W 10 Miami Beach, Florida


19-Jan Davey Seabrook W 10 Jacksonville, Florida
26-Feb Lulu Perez L TKO 2 MSG, New York, NY
24-Jul Mike Tourcotte W 10 Mobile, Alabama
18-Aug Til LeBlanc W 10 New Brunswick, Canada
1-Nov Mario 'Eladio' Colon W 15 Daytona Beach, Florida


11-Mar Merrill Olmstead W 10 Bennington, Vermont
22-Mar Charley Titone W 10 Holyoke, Massachusetts
30-Mar Gil Cadilli L 10 Parks Air Force Base, CA
18-May Gil Cadilli W 10 Detroit, Michigan
1-Jun Joey Cam W TKO 4 Boston, Massachusetts
14-Jun Mickey Mars W TKO 7 Miami Beach, Florida
12-Jul Hector Rodriguez W 10 Bridgeport, Connecticut
13-Sept Jimmy Ithia W TKO 6 Hartford, Connecticut
27-Sept Henry 'Pappy' Gault W 10 Holyoke, Massachusetts
10-Oct Charley Titone W 10 Brockton, Massachusetts
29-Nov Henry 'Pappy' Gault W 10 Tampa, Florida
13-Dec Leo Carter W TKO 4 Houston, Texas
28-Dec Andy Arel W 10 Miami Beach, Florida


16-Mar Kid Campeche W 10 Tampa, Florida
27-Mar Buddy Baggett W 10 Beaumont, Texas
17-Apr Jackie Blair W 10 Hartford, Connecticut
22-May Manuel Armenteros W RTD 6 San Antonio, Texas
19-Jun Russell Tague W 10 Miami Beach, Florida
4-Jul Hector Bacquettes W TKO 5 Lawton, Oklahoma


23-Apr Cesar Morales W 10 Fort Lauderdale, Florida
10-May Manny Castro W 10 Florence, South Carolina
16-Jul Manny Castro W 10 El Paso, Texas
23-Jul Russell Tauge W 10 Houston, Texas
17-Dec Jimmy Connors W 10 Boston, Massachusetts


14-Jan Tommy Tibbs L 10 Boston, Massachusetts
31-Mar Prince Johnson W 10 Holyoke, Massachusetts
8-Apr George Stephany W 10 Bristol, Connecticut
14-Apr Cleo Ortiz W 10 Providence, Rhode Island
29-Apr Jimmy Kelly W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
20-May Bobby Singleton W 10 Boston, Massachusetts
23-Jun Pat McCoy W 10 New Bedford, Massachusetts
1-Jul Bobby Soares W 10 Athol, Massachusetts
17-Jul Bobby Bell W 10 Norwood, Massachusetts
4-Aug Louis Carmona W 10 Presque Isle, Maine
9-Aug Jesse Rodriguez W 10 Painesville, Ohio
26-Aug Al Duarte W 10 North Adams, Massachusetts
20-Sept Hogan 'Kid' Bassey L TKO 9 Boston, Massachusetts


Sonny Leon


3-Nov Harold McKeever W 8 Miami, Florida
26-Apr Jackie Lennon W 6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
21-May Johnny Gilmore W 6 Norwalk, Connecticut
21-Jul Benny Red Randall W 6 Quebec, Canada
1-Oct Willie Little W TKO 3 Johnstown, Pennsylvania
4-Oct Tommy Haden W TKO 3 Providence, Rhode Island
14-Oct Sergio Musquiz W KO 5 Phoenix, Arizona
25-Oct Ray Coleman W KO 5 Tucson, Arizona


16-Mar Calvin Woodland L 6 Richmond, Virginia

· Anon.
1,562 Posts
Anyone know of footage of Pep/Angott? Pep is probably my all time favourite fighter - brilliant dude! This thread has just become the best on CHB
couldn't find any, someone may have it on that d/load torrent site world boxing video's or whatever it's named, can't remember of the top of my head

Could you change title @Jay to just say Willie Pep?

· Registered
780 Posts
Pep DID NOT lose his series to Saddler. Well of course in the most technical way, he did (1-3). But anyone who says something along the lines of "Saddler is the greatest FW ever because he beat Pep 3 times" hasn't done an ounce of research.

· Registered
20,274 Posts
Pep DID NOT lose his series to Saddler. Well of course in the most technical way, he did (1-3). But anyone who says something along the lines of "Saddler is the greatest FW ever because he beat Pep 3 times" hasn't done an ounce of research.
Who has ever said that? Peps win in their second fight is one of the greatest wins at Featherweight ever.

· Registered
3,152 Posts
I've never read that either. I've read that Saddler's record against Pep being used as evidence that he was a great fighter in his own right, but not that he was better than Pep.
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