Story about New Jersey boxing legend Chuck Wepner hits the big screen

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Boxing legend Chuck Wepner (left) sits with his wife Linda (right). A movie about Wepner's life "Chuck" is set to debut in theaters. Boxing legend Chuck Wepner (left) sits with his wife Linda (right). A movie about Wepner's life "Chuck" is set to debut in theaters.
BAYONNE -

A movie about New Jersey boxing legend Chuck Wepner is set to debut Friday.

The 78-year-old Wepner is a local hero in Bayonne, the city where he grew up.

"I was a tough guy. I could take a punch and my endurance was over the moon," Wepner says.

Wepner rose to fame in the 1970s when he lasted 15 rounds against Muhammad Ali.

"Chuck" stars Liev Schreiber as Wepner. Naomi Watts plays Wepner's third wife Linda, who Wepner says turned his life around.

"I guess I gave him purpose, direction, stability," Linda says. "We do have the same birthday, so we're very much alike."

Wepner is sometimes called the "real Rocky," as his fight with Ali inspired the 1976 Sylvester Stallone film.

Wepner will be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame later this month. 

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