Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki

Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki

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Muhammad Ali versus Antonio Inoki - the Pioneers of MMA (35 years after)

On June 26, 1976, a fight was held at the Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo, Japan between American boxer Muhammad Ali and Japanese Professional Wrestler Antonio Inoki. At the time, Ali had come off a knockout victory over Richard Dunn in May and was the reigning WBC/WBA Heavyweight Champion. Inoki had been taught the art of hooking and shooting by legendary wrestler Karl Gotch and had been staging exhibition fights against champions from other martial art backgrounds, in an attempt to show that pro wrestling was the dominant fighting discipline. The fight itself, which was fought under special rules (and the result of which has been long debated), is seen as being a precursor to modern mixed martial arts.

Following that fight, he staged an exhibition match with professional wrestler and Mixed Martial Artist Antonio Inoki. Although widely perceived as a publicity stunt, the match against Inoki would have a long-term detrimental affect on Ali's mobility. Inoki spent much of the fight on the ground trying to damage Alis legs, while Ali spent most of the fight dodging the kicks or staying on the ropes. At the end of 15 rounds, the bout was called a draw. Ali's legs, however, were bleeding, leading to an infection. He suffered two blood clots in his legs as well.

The bout ended in a draw with both men declaring themselves satisfied.

Foreword by Angelo Dundee (born Angelo Mirena) is an American boxing cornerman. He is best known for his work with Muhammad Ali, and has worked with 15 world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio and Luis Rodriguez.

The Manga Slides are from New Grappler Baki by Keisuke Itagaki

The Scanlation(Scan and translations) are from Wild Fang Production.