The Brawler is not your typical boxing film. It does have the knockouts and the underdog theme, but this is a different kind of film. It’s a film that happens to be about a boxer which focuses on more than just his boxing career.
Most people may think that the Rocky films were inspired by Rocky Marciano, well that’s not entirely the case. The Brawler tells the story of the real man who inspired the Rocky saga, Chuck Wepner, who was a nobody that had the chance to go up against the greatest boxer in the world, Muhammed Ali. His rise to stardom and his fight with the greatest boxer that ever lived, inspired Sylvester Stallone to write the film Rocky. This is where The Brawler becomes more than just another boxing film.
In 1976, the first Rocky film would hit theaters and become an instant classic. The film would not only skyrocket Stallone’s career but it also helped out Chuck Wepner’s career greatly. A good portion of The Brawler focuses on Wepner’s life after the Rocky films. Wepner had new-found fame because of Stallone and Rocky and could now pull the “Rocky was inspired by me” card. Fame would get Wepner almost anything he wanted, including something he didn’t want, trouble.
“…the story of the real man who inspired the Rocky saga, Chuck Wepner…”