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Willie Pep
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    (September 19, 1922-November 23, 2006)
    Born in Middletown, Connecticut
    Birth name was Guglielmo Papaleo
    Nickname was Will o' the Wisp
    Featherweight boxing champion (11/20/42-10/29/48 & 2/11/49-9/8/50)
    Pro boxing record:
    241 bouts
    229 wins (65 by knockout)
    11 losses
    1 draw
    Named 'The Ring' magazine's Fighter of the Year (1945)
    Elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (1977)
    Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame its inaugural year (1990)
    Ranked 6th on 'The Ring' magazine's list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years (2002)
    Died of Alzheimer's disease related dementia pugilistica in Rocky Hill, Connecticut at age 84
    He was short (5 feet, 5 inches).
    In 1938 (two years before turning pro), he lost an exhibition match to Sugar Ray Robinson.
    When Robinson's amateur status was called into question, he was held in jail overnight until his status was verified. (say WHAT?)
    He never tried boxing outside the featherweight division.
    Legend has it that he won a fight on July 25, 1946 without throwing a punch in the third round.
    He did win the fight in the third round, but DID throw punches - he was misquoted by ringside reporters before the bout whom he told would win the third round without throwing 'a punch of anger.'
    He retired in 1960, then came back in 1964 and fought for two more years until retiring for good at age 44.
    The extra years of head blows helped to rob him of his memory later in life and he spent his last years in a nursing home.
    He served in both the U.S. Army and Navy during World War II.
    He won his first 61 bouts.
    He also won 125 of his first 127 fights (one was his only draw).
    Though he was severely injured in a 1947 plane crash, he fought 10 bouts that year and won them all.
    Coming out of retirement at age 38, he won his first nine bouts.
    After retiring for good, he became a boxing referee, inspector, and later served as a sports columnist.
    In 1980. Sports Illustrated ran a story implying he threw a 1954 fight (26 years after the fact).
    He filed a lawsuit against the magazine but lost.
    He often worked as a volunteer at the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was more than happy to give fans his autograph (for FREE).
    The Associated Press named him greatest featherweight of the 20th Century and 5th greatest boxer of the century (1999).
    He boxed an incredible total of 2017 rounds, huge even by 1940s and '50s standards.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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