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"I'm sure the ESPN documentary of 'The Real Rocky'  featuring the Rocky/Chuck Wepner connection is a well made and interesting documentary. The story has been recounted many times and it wasn't Stallone who started it. But is it the story of the "Real Rocky"? I don't think so. From the time I first saw the original Rocky, I was sure I knew who the real Rocky had to be.

No doubt Rocky was the reincarnation of a Jersey City homeboy/legend, Frankie DePaula. As a kid, I already knew the true story/legend of Frankie "knocking out" the cop on the corner of Duncan and West Side, just down the street from his family home and PS 17.Frankie DePaula photo: saddoboxing.com

The story gets better. Who becomes muscle for the mob? Who else is a local club fighter? Who gets a Garden Main Event against Dick Tiger, former world middleweight and light heavy champion, oftened called the greatest fighter of his time? Who knocked Tiger off his feet for the first time ever? Or should I say the first 3 times in the 1968 fight?

Unfortunately Frankie goes down about 6 times--sounds like Rocky vs Apollo Creed to me. Who puts down Bob Foster, another great champion only to lose on application of the 3 knockdown rule? Frankie DePaula not Chuck Wepner. (Take a look at the images on the web, Frankie Depaula even looked like Rocky, or should I say Stallone)

Maybe Chuck Wepner gets the coverage because he is alive to talk about it. Frankie lived (not for long) to write the final episode of the movie series that was not the conclusion shown in theaters.

Truth is that Frankie (Rocky) meets a gangland death. Stories vary  as to whether it was the result of hijacking the wrong guy's truck to messing with a made guy's woman.

Frankie DePaula might not have been a real good guy, but he was the "Real Rocky."

What do you have to say about that Sylvester?"



Very truly yours,
Don Gorenberg

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Frankie DePaula photo: saddoboxing.com