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June 25th 1976 – Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki Closed Circuit Fight Program at Shea Stadium – Also feat. Bruno Sammartino vs. Stan Hansen
The fight between American boxer Muhammad Ali and Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki was held at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo on June 26, 1976. At the time, Ali had come off a knockout victory over Richard Dunn in May and was the reigning WBC/WBA Heavyweight Champion. Inoki, who had been taught the art of catch wrestling by legendary wrestler Karl Gotch, was staging exhibition fights against champions of various martial arts, in an attempt to show that pro wrestling was the dominant fighting discipline. Inoki actually put quite a hurt onto Ali’s legs during the bout.
The fight itself, which was fought under special rules, is seen as a precursor to modern mixed martial arts. The result of the fight has been long debated by the press and fans. The fight was refereed by Gene LeBell.
This is an official closed circuit program for the exhibition fight held at Shea Stadium. Shows handling/transport wear.