Willie Pep Retains World Featherweight Title

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Posted on Friday, June 7th, 2013 at 7:48 pm.

Boxing History: June 7, 1946 Willie Pep KO 12 Sal Bartolo, Madison Square Garden, NYC. Retains World Featherweight Title.


For ten of the first eleven rounds, Pep made Bartolo, a natural conter-puncher, come at him. Pep fighting at long range effectively, hit him with long jabs and combinations. Bartolo attempted to get inside, and work Pep’s body; and was only able to succeed at that, during the 5th round.
The “Will o’ the Wisp” from Hartford started in a cautious manner, showing respect for Bartolo, but later turned on the juice and stopped the Bostonian at 2:41 of the 12th round.

A right hand to the jaw knocked out Bartolo, who rolled over several times, in a failed attempt to rise. Bartolo was taken to the hospital after the bout, with a broken jaw, on his left side.
With this win, Pep attained universal recognition as World Featherweight Champion.
Attendance: 9,881; Gate: $53,486; Odds: Pep 1-to-3 favorite.

GuglielmoPapaleo (September 19, 1922 – November 23, 2006) was an American professional boxer, better known as Willie Pep. Pep boxed a total of 1,956 rounds in the 241 bouts during his 26-year career, a considerable number of rounds and fights even for a fighter of his era. His final record was 229-11-1 with 65 knockouts. Pep, known for his speed and finesse, is considered to be one of the best fighters of the 20th century

Former World Featherweight Champ Willie Pep promotes his new book to Muhammad Ali

Elected to The Ring Hall of Fame in 1963.
Elected to the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1981.
Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Named the greatest featherweight of the century and the fifth greatest boxer of the century by the Associated Press in 1999.
Named the greatest featherweight of all-time by The Ring in 1994 and 2002.
Elected to the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010.


Became a prominent referee and a deputy boxing commissioner for the state of Connecticut.

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