One of the crucial elusive fighters of all time would have turned 100 years previous right now.
Willie Pep was born Guglielmo Papaleo on September 19, 1922 in Middletown, Conn. He started his professional profession in his late teenagers in 1940 in his native state, the place he compiled 25 straight wins earlier than taking his act to California and different extra aggressive environments.
Solely two years into his profession he had already amassed a 41-0 report earlier than taking over his first main step-up in former world title challenger Joey Archibald. After that win, he racked up ten extra wins to lastly get his first title shot towards reigning featherweight Ring champion Chalky Wright. He defeated Wright over 15 rounds in October of that very same 12 months of 1942 (a 12 months by which he fought an unbelievable 22 instances) and proceeded to proceed exhibiting his uncanny defensive expertise towards the very best fighters the division needed to supply.
He dropped a 10-round determination towards the nice Sammy Angott in 1943 after which had a draw towards archrival Jimmy McAlllister two years later, however apart from these small bumps within the street he dominated your complete area through the first eight years of his profession.
By the point he misplaced his belt towards fellow all-time nice Sandy Saddler in 1948 in what would have been his seventh protection, Pep had an astonishing report of 134-1-1, an unbelievable feat. He regained the title from Saddler in a rematch the next 12 months, however misplaced it once more within the rubber match of a bad-blood rivalry that took the very best (and the worst) from each males. Pep managed to sneak in three defenses of his belt earlier than surrendering it to Saddler for good. He would later lose a fourth bout towards Saddler, with all his losses towards him being by stoppage.
He continued combating till 1966, averaging a dozen fights per 12 months throughout most of these years. The ultimate report of his 26-year profession was an unbelievable 229–11–1 with 65 knockouts. He’s extensively thought of probably the greatest defensive fighters of all time, and one (if not the) finest featherweight of all time.
Pep handed away in November 23, 2006 on the age of 84. He was inducted into the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame in its inaugural 12 months in 1990.
Diego M. Morilla writes for The Ring since 2013. He additionally wrote for HBO.com, ESPN.com and lots of different magazines, web sites, newspapers and different retailers since 1993. He’s a full member of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America and an elector for the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame. He has gained two first-place awards within the BWAA’s annual writing contest, and he’s the moderator of The Ring’s Ladies’s Scores Panel. He served as copy editor for the second period of The Ring en Español (2018-2020) and is at present a author and editor for RingTV.com. Comply with him on Twitter @MorillaBoxing