Former boxer Chuck Wepner was featured in an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary that aired Tuesday called The Real Rocky. The New Jersey native went 35-14 in his career, and he’s known for his 1975 fight against Muhammad Ali. Though Wepner lost that fight in 15 rounds, he managed one knockdown, and his performance helped inspire the Rocky character.
During the documentary, Wepner explains that Ali wanted him to go to great lengths to promote the fight. He even wanted Wepner to make a racist statement to help turn the fight into a black-white issue. Wepner recalled a promotional appearance the two made and how Ali tried to get him to make a racial comment on TV.
“We’re in the green room, and all of a sudden the door opens, and in walks Ali,” Wepner recalled. “And he says to me ‘Chuck, when we go out on stage, I want you to call me a n*****.’