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HALL OF FAME FLIES FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR WILLIE PEP
CANASTOTA, NY - NOVEMBER 24, 2006 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of two-time featherweight champion Willie Pep. He passed away peacefully yesterday at the age of 84.
Pep was born Guiglermo Papaleo on September 19, 1922 in Middleton, CT. He began boxing in 1940 and would compete professionally for 26 years. During a remarkable career Pep reigned twice as featherweight champion of the world (1942-48, 1949-50). He compiled an amazing 230-11-1 (65 KOs) record that includes wins over Hall of Famers Manuel Ortiz, “Chalky” Wright and four-time rival Sandy Saddler. Celebrated the world over for his defensive and tactical abilities, the slick-boxing Pep once even won a round without throwing a punch. In 1945 he was named “Fighter of the Year.”
“Willie Pep defined the essence of boxing – hit and not get hit,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “'The Will o' the Wisp' left an indelible mark on the sport of boxing and the Hall of Fame joins the entire boxing community in mourning the loss of a legend.”
In 1990, Pep was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.