Willie Pep - The Greatest Featherweight of All Time?
Born on this day in Connecticut in 1922.
He boxed in 65 amateur bouts over a two-and-a-half year period, posting a record of 59 wins and three loses.
By the age of just 18 he had raced to a professional record of 41-0. In his 52nd fight, an epic 15 round battle with Chalky Wright in 1942, Pep finally became world champion at the ripe age of 20.
By 1943, he remained untouchable at 62-0 before finally tasting his first defeat to Sammy Angott.
What was most impressive about Pep, which no fighter these days would be allowed to replicate, was just how often he fought. For example, in the year he became champion, he got in the ring an astounding 23 times, at some points once per week. Even after suffering serious injuries in a plane crash in 1946, he was still only out of action for seven months before continuing a run that saw him accumulate a record of 134-1-1
Finally deciding to call it a day in 1966, Pep would retire with an unheralded 229 victories and just 11 defeats over a dazzling career spanning 29 years.
Pep, known for his speed, finesse and elusiveness, is considered to be one of the best fighters of the 20th century and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. 🥊