“Will O’ Wisp”
The term ‘Will O’ Wisp’ means ‘an atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached…’; How fitting a nickname for the majestic pugilist by the name of Guglielmo Papeleo. Papaleo, best known as Willie Pep, passed away 11 years ago today on November 23, 2006 at the age of 84. He is widely considered to be among the greatest P4P fighters of all time.
Pep was ranked 6th on Ring Magazine’s list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years in 2002. He was also named the 3rd greatest fighter of all time by Bert Sugar and ranked 5th on ESPN’s 50 Greatest Boxers Of All time list in 2007. Pep was voted as the Greatest Featherweight Ever by the Houston Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2014. The HBHOF is a voting body composed totally of current and former fighters
Pep is often credited with being one of the first pure “boxers” in the sport. He never was much of a puncher so he had to outbox and out think his opponents with his defensive wizardry and movement. Defensively he is still today considered among the best of all time. He’s often mentioned alongside names like Mayweather, Whitaker and others.
There has long been a rumor that he even once won a round without throwing a punch. The said incident reportedly occurred in the third round against Jackie Graves in 1946.
“I guess I made him miss so badly they [the judges] gave me the round,” Pep once said
By: Chris Henderson