The popular boxer known as "Will-o'-the-Wisp" was Willie Pep. Pep (Will-o'-the-Wisp) boxed a total of 1,956 rounds in the 241 bouts. He had a career that lasted 26-years. For a fighter of his era career, he had a considerable number of rounds and bouts. His final career record was 229–11–1 with 65 knockouts.

At birth, Willie Pep was named William Guglielmo Papaleo. He initially went by the name Willie Pep to accommodate friends and peer relationships. Pep was born on September 9, 1922, in Middletown, Connecticut, near the city of Hartford. He grew up in a tough neighborhood. Thus, he took up boxing, in part, because he was tired of getting beat up by older kids and wanted to defend himself. After dropping out of Hartford High School at the age of 16, Pep made money by selling newspapers and shining shoes.

Being almost 18, Pep began his professional boxing career in 1940. As an American professional boxer, he became a world featherweight (126 pounds) champion during the 1940s. He specialized in finesse rather than slugging prowess and competed successfully in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. His rivalry with American Sandy Saddler is considered one of the greatest of 20th-century American pugilism.

Pep (Will-o'-the-Wisp) died at the age of 84 on November 23, 2006 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. The case of his death was Alzheimer's disease. Pep was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

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