Ali revolutionizes the "superfight" against Inoki, Monsoon

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 05, 2016 11:53 PM
Ali revolutionizes the
Muhammad Ali once shared the ring with professional wrestler Antonio Inoki. (AP Photo)

Muhammad Ali was no doubt one of the biggest names in sports during his time. Much like the LeBrons, the Mayweathers, and the McGregors of today, Ali's popularity transcended his chosen battlefield.

In fact, during his time as world heavyweight champion, Ali was booked in a mixed rules match against famed Japanese pro wrestler and mixed martial artist Antonio Inoki in a match that could be considered as the first ever "superfight".

The date was June 26, 1976. At the time, Ali was the undisputed, reigning WBC and WBA World Heavyweight champion, while Inoki was the National Wrestling Federation (now known as New Japan Pro Wrestling) Heavyweight Champion.

Ali and Inoki met in a very strange mixed-rules bout that saw Ali land a grand total of six punches, while Inoki was on his back the whole match, trying to goad Ali to grapple with him. 

The match ended in a draw after 15 rounds.


Two weeks before facing Inoki however, Ali found (or inserted) himself in a pro wrestling match against the legendary Gorilla Monsoon.

In a June 1 edition of Championship Wrestling, Gorilla Monsoon was competing in a match when Ali, who was sitting ringside, decided that he wanted to step up to Monsoon. Things didn't quite go Ali's way this time around. Still, it was definitely more action-packed than his encounter with Inoki. 

See what happened for yourself! 

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