The Greatest, The Giant, Rocky, and a Sports Peace Party

30 07 2008

June 26, 1976
Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki

The scene: America’s own 34-yr old heavyweight champion (of the world) versus Japan’s reining heavyweight wrestling champ at the Budokan Arena in Tokyo.

In a 15-round snooooze… The Greatest throws just 2 punches as Inoki spends most of the bout on his back, playing footsy with Ali.

Inoki no fight!

Inoki no fight!

Fans throw beer and fruit. Ali yells, ‘Inoki no fight! Inoki girl!!’

The fight is ruled a draw. Ali later swears off gimmick fights, but changes his mind 3 years later and whips NFL defensive lineman Lyle Alzado  in 8 rounds.

Inoki went on to win a seat in Japan’s parliament – representing the Sports and Peace party.

It gets stranger….

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