Boxing Simulation All-Time Heavyweight Champion Part 8 Ali v. Marciano
About a computer simulation ran to determine the all-time heavyweight championship boxer of the world, the super fight between Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano.
The All-Time Heavyweight Championship of the World
The Super Fight: Muhammad Ali v. Rocky Marciano
The styles of the 2 men couldn't have been more disparate. Rocky described his: "I'd get low, making myself a smaller target, a tougher man to hit on the chin. My game was to always bob and weave and never let myself be maneuvered out in the middle of the ring."
Rocky was always on the attack, always driving forward with short, brutal chops to the arms, body, and head of his opponent. He would try for the quick kill--opening fast and attempting to hurt his man as early as he could.
"I think if I could corner [Ali]," Rocky said, "I would knock him out."
But a butterfly is difficult to corner. "My main motive when I enter the ring is to hit and not be hit," Muhammad said, commenting on his philosophy of fisticuffs. He claimed that his left jab had been timed at 400ths of a second and that his dancing feet had kept him far from harm's way. "In all my fights, pro and amateur, I never remember being cut, scratched or marked," he said.
Everyone agreed that if it went to a decision, the winner would have to be Ali. But Rocky could very well take it with a KO.
And so the 2 heavyweights began prancing about the ring, as the cameras hummed. Even though they were supposed to pull their punches, some blood flowed.
"I think it was Marciano who threw the 1st real punch," Woroner said later. They had been fooling around when Marciano suddenly let one go to the midsection. Ali followed with a shot to the head. But the fighters respected each other and apologized for these slips. Afterward, Ali commented that Marciano had surprised him. At 45, the Blockbuster was herding the agile younger man into the corners, as he had in the days of his prime.
Marciano called Ali "the fastest man on wheels," after the filming.
In January, 1970, the fight was televised. An estimated million fans paid $5 each for the privilege of watching it in America and some 15 million more queued up in England, Australia, and Mexico.
In the opening rounds, Ali had it all his way. While the Rock plowed stolidly in, missing hooks, the Butterfly flitted and flirted, snapping jabs that brought blood to Marciano's face. Ali also threw a lot of body punches, unusual for him.
But in the 10th round, Rocky's patience paid off. He finally cornered Ali and cut him down. The Louisville Lightfoot was up immediately and darting quickly. He continued to pepper the stalking Rocky and was winning on points when Marciano rallied. With blood streaming from simulated cuts, Rocky put the big finish on the film by knocking Ali out at 57 seconds into the 13th round. It was the same round in which he had bounced Jersey Joe Walcott to take the heavyweight title in another come-from-behind finish, and the same round in which he had KO'd Jack Dempsey to win the mythical All-Time Computerized Heavyweight Championship.
Muhammad, who had watched the bout in a theater, said, "That computer must have been made in Alabama."
"That was no Ali, I knew," said his trainer.
Rocky Marciano never learned that he had won the Super Fight. Three weeks after filming was completed, he was killed in a plane crash.
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