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 Willie “Will o' the Wisp” Pep

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Willie “Will o' the Wisp” Pep

  • Birth 19 Sep 1922 Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 23 Nov 2006 Rocky Hill, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
  • Burial Rocky Hill, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 16760577

Professional Boxer. Born Guglielmo Papaleo, he was the World Featherweight Champion from 1942 to 1948 and 1949 to 1950. In November 1942, he won the title by defeating Albert "Chalky" Wright, which also happened to be his 55th consecutive win. His winning streak reached 63 matches before he lost a non-title fight to Sammy Angott in 1943. After the loss, Pep would win the next 73 bouts. The most memorable fights in his career were a series of grueling bouts against Sandy Saddler. The two would meet four times with Pep relinquishing the title to him in 1948 and regaining it in a rematch in 1949 only to lose it again to Saddler in 1950. Their final meeting in 1951 resulted in another loss to Saddler. Some of his other notable opponents include Phil Terranova and Sal Bartolo. Pep retired in 1966. In 242 career bouts, Pep won 230 (65 knockouts) and lost 11 with 1 draw. Pep was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. He died of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Bio by: C.S.





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: C.S.
  • Added: 24 Nov 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16760577
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Willie “Will o' the Wisp” Pep (19 Sep 1922–23 Nov 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16760577, citing Rose Hill Memorial Park, Rocky Hill, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .