Muhammad Ali vs Antonio Inoki This Day June 25, 1976
Muhammad Ali fights draw with wrestling champion Antonio Inoki in Tokyo – Also Wepner fights “The Giant.”
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.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.