The farcical mismatch of the century

14 July 2017 - 08:01 By AFP
Floyd Mayweather.
Floyd Mayweather.
Image: Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

There are many in the boxing world who are appalled by the prospect of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor climbing into a ring next month. Bob Arum is, emphatically, not one of them.

Forty-one years ago, the now 85-year-old promoted the infamous Tokyo bout between Muhammad Ali and Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki.

That shambolic night saw Inoki spend most of the bout on his back, attempting to kick out at Ali's legs. Ali threw only six punches in 15 rounds of farce.

As Arum remembers it: "It was the most atrocious crap that I've ever put on."

Ali was offered $6-million to fight the Japanese wrestler.

"In the end we went into that fight without any rules at all. 

"The idea of whether it's good for boxing is sort of irrelevant. I don't even know what 'good or bad for boxing' means."