In Tokyo this week Mohammed Ali, world heavy weight boxing champion, said his fight against Japanese wrestler, Antonio Inoki will not be faked in any way.
LV Newsmen at press conference
SV Inoki presents Ali with wrapped parcel
CU PAN FROM Inoki watching Ali unwrapping and revealing a crutch. Both men laugh
The fight will be held at Tokyo's Martial Arts hall, beside the Emperor's palace, on June 26; Pre-fight publicity is billing it; "The Blood Fight Of The Century". Inoki is Japan's top professional wrestler. He prides himself on Black Belt proficiency in judo and karate, which he intends using on Ali, along with his favourite pro-wrestling techniques, the Cobra Twist and the flying dropkick. Inoki says he thinks the fight will be so easy, he's asked if the court can be increased from 10 to 20. His plan is to floor Mohammed Ali with a karate chop, and then pin him for the count with an Indian death-lock.
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Background: In Tokyo this week Mohammed Ali, world heavy weight boxing champion, said his fight against Japanese wrestler, Antonio Inoki will not be faked in any way.
SYNOPSIS: Ali was in high spirits on Thursday (17 June) as he and Inoki weighed in for Saturday's (26 June) big bout. Although boxing experts have labelled the match as "just light entertainment", Ali and Inoki say they are taking the match very seriously and with good reason - Ali has been guaranteed almost three million pounds (six million U.S. dollars) for the bout.
Both fighters weighed in at exactly same the weight-220 pound (100 kilos). Ali has taken part in a fight with a wrestler only once before, but this one he says will be much more difficult. He says he's not under-rating the Japanese, who also holds a black belt judo. The match will be fought out in a regulation size boxing ring. Ali will fight with gloves and Inoki will wrestle bare-handed.
Throughout the weigh-in Ali continually taunted Inoki, throwing punches and pulling faces. Ali has labelled his Japanese opponent "the pelican" because of his prominent jaw. He says the big jaw will provide a perfect target to aim at during their fight. Meanwhile, Inoki just stood back and smiled as Ali continued his now familiar spiel.
The next day (18 June) at a news conference, Ali retorted angrily when he was asked whether the fight would be fixed. He said he couldn't afford to make a poor fight look good. If he did this he said, then people would say the fights against Sonny Liston, Jerry Quarry and Ken Norton were all fixes too. But, then, Inoki came up with something that for a little while at least, silenced the champ.....a wooden crutch, which he says Ali will need to help him back to the United States after the fight.