Watch Inoki vs. Ali!! 7pm on Saturday, Feb. 7 on TV Asahi

I’m no boxing expert, but I know a good fight when I see it (these days, I’ll watch anything featuring current WBC flyweight champion Daisuke Naito. That guy’s got spunk!).
Sweep the leg!
Sweep the leg!

One of my earliest posts took a look at the legendary matchup between superstar pro wrestler Antonio Inoki and the greatest boxer who ever lived, but up to now I had only seen grainy YouTube clips of the actual match. No longer! TV Asahi is planning a rebroadcast of the Inoki-Ali fight for Saturday, Feb. 7 starting at 7pm, to commemorate the 33rd anniversary. I hope you won’t mind me giving them a shameless plug!

According to Oricon, rights issues had previously kept anyone from rebroadcasting the fight before, but they somehow finagled it in time for the network’s 50th anniversary.  The program will show each round in a digest format, and features a retrospective documentary with Inoki reflecting on his experiences. As you can see from my original post, the fight wasn’t exactly a nail-biter, but here’s an interesting tidbit from the Oricon article – The day after the fight, sports newspapers ridiculed it as “the dullest fight of the century” but apparently Inoki’s “logical” tactics have been vindicated as helping lay “the cornerstone of mixed martial arts.”

Though I was not around for the original fight, I am glad to live in a time when I can watch archives in sweet, sweet HDTV quality that was unthinkable in those days.

PS: At the time of my old post, I remarked on Inoki’s intentions: “…Western exposure, as it has been for so many other Japanese entertainers, was merely a tool to show the Japanese public that he can knock heads with The Greatest and land roles in American movies.” I am shocked that I would make such a categorical and baseless statement. Even today, I don’t know what Inoki was thinking for sure. Maybe I could reasonably suspect this, but I guess at the time I wasn’t so careful in my writing.

5 thoughts on “Watch Inoki vs. Ali!! 7pm on Saturday, Feb. 7 on TV Asahi”

  1. The greatest boxer who ever lived is Sugar Ray Robinson.

    The Inoki-Ali fight is boring as sin.

    Inoki’s “shoots” against kickboxers and the like are what really put down the foundation for MMA in Japan although you can argue that the idea of “mixed” martial arts owes more to karateka Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin, and the manga/anime “Karate Baka Ichidai” based on his life. Inoki makes up for this by being awesome in various manga.

    Daisuke Naito is an exciting fighter, but he’s been looking shot in recent fights against sub par domestic competition and the next time he goes in hard against a top 5 guy, I’m afraid that he will be stopped. He should call it a career before that happens, it’s been a great ride. Barring that, I’d like to see him cash out against Kameda who he has a good shot of beating as the big mouth is still green and we don’t know how he will react if a strong boxer like Daisuke fights him coming forward.

  2. I’ll just have to see it for myself, but thanks for trying to help me not get my hopes up… I have been wanting to see this fight for almost 4 years.

  3. Ever do a beer a round? (drink a beer in 3 min, one minute rest, 12 times or until one of the fighters gets KOed, or you do). That’s the way to do this fight.

    Seriously, as a historical novelty, the fight IS worth seeing. But the Inoki vs. Bear Killer, etc. fights are far better entertainment.

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