Instead of Apollo Creed, Wepner simply had to face one of the best boxers in the history of human civilization - Muhammad Ali. The champ wanted an easy fight as a warm-up to a real match later, so we're guessing he was looking at a list and picking between "The Bayonne Bleeder" and a guy named "Brittle Ribs Ranalli." Ali and Wepner would split the purse 94% to 6% in Ali's favor.
Just as in Rocky, Ali toyed with Wepner early on and just as in the film, Wepner knocked Ali down, shocking the boxing world.
And seriously, look at the guy
Ali got up, and spent the rest of the fight using Wepner's face as a speed bag. But just like Rocky, Wepner would not go down. Finally, in the 15th and final round, the refs stopped the fight. Wepner's face looked worse than Rocky's -- he'd need 23 stitches after it was over. But he stayed on his feet.
A young Sylvester Stallone watched that match on TV, and immediately pounded out the screenplay for Rocky, spawning an Academy award-winning film, five sequels and an entire generation of scrappy underdog protagonists in sports movies. Wepner would live on in obscurity, only capturing the public eye when he emerged from retirement years later to fight a Soviet superman and single-handedly end the cold war.