Despite sharing a nearly identical workspace and having spent decades under the jurisdiction of the same state legislative bodies, boxing and wrestling are worlds apart. There have been many attempts over the years to see who would win a battle of wresting and boxing. The answer is that the fans have typically been the losers. Here is a look back at some of the more infamous moments in the history of battles between wrestlers and boxers.
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In 1976, the world wanted to know what would happen if the greatest boxer in the world battled the greatest wrestler in Japan. No one expected that Inoki would be on his back for the entire match kicking at Ali's legs. This farce was seen via closed circuit to a worldwide audience.
Andre the Giant vs. Chuck Wepner
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As part of the undercard of the Ali debacle, Andre the Giant
took on Chuck Wepner at Shea Stadium. Thankfully, that match didn't last 15 rounds. This one lasted three rounds and ended when Andre threw Chuck Wepner outside of the ring. Andre won the match by count out. For those of you wondering who Chuck Wepner was, he lost to Muhammad Ali a year earlier and is the boxer that Sylvester Stallone based Rocky Balboa off of. This fight was also the inspiration for the next match on this list.
Rocky Balboa vs. Thunderlips
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featured Rocky battle Thunderlips in an exhibition match. Thunderlips was played by Hulk Hogan
and with the release of that movie, Hulkamania was born. Without this wrestler vs. boxing battle, it is very possible that wrestling as we enjoy it today would be very different.
Scott LeDoux vs. Larry Zbyszko
Scott LeDoux, also known to boxing fans as "The Fighting Frenchman", was a former heavyweight contender who fought legendary fighters like George Foreman, Mike Weaver, Leon Spinks and Ken Norton. After retiring from boxing, he became a referee for the AWA in the mid-80's. Larry Zbyszko was not fond of his work and eventually attacked him. This led to them having a "boxing" match at WrestleRock '86 which ended with Larry being disqualified. The two men fought a few more times that year and one of their bouts ended with a mystery assailant helping Larry break Scott's arm. Scott returned to the wrestling ring in 1987 and resumed his feud with Larry. In 2011, Scott LeDoux passed away at the age of 62 after battling ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) for three years.
Mark Gastineau vs. Derrick Dukes
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The prior battles answered the question of what would happen if a boxer entered the wrestling ring. In this case a wrestler entered a boxing ring. However, this 1991 boxing match turned out to be just as scripted as any wrestling match. Former AWA star Derrick Dukes threw the match to help hype the career of football player turned boxer Mark Gastineau. Gastineau won the match by knock out in the first round but it was later revealed that this and several other of his fights were fixed.
Butterbean vs. Mark Mero
(c)2006 Eric Cohen
At the 1997 PPV event In Your House D-Generation X, Eric "Butterbean" Esch took on Marc Mero in a worked "Toughman" match. That match ended when Mero hit Butterbean with a low blow that resulted in his disqualification.
Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn
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Butterbean returned to the WWE in 1999 and took part in WrestleMania XV
. He fought Bart Gunn in a "Brawl for All" match. This match was a legitimate shoot fight that ended in 35 seconds when Butterbean clocked Gunn in the face with a haymaker that caused Gunn to be knocked out legitimately. Gunn was released from the WWE shortly after this embarrassing loss.
Evander Holyfield vs. Matt Hardy
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Evander Holyfield took on Matt Hardy
in a boxing match during a 2007 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event
. Evander's cornerman was Montel Vontavious Porter
, a wrestler that was feuding with Matt at the time. When Evander didn't finish off Matt as quickly as MVP wanted, MVP started to talk trash to Evander. Evander then knocked out MVP with one blow and celebrated with Matt. The match was declared a no-contest.
© 2008 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Billed as "The Biggest vs. The Best", these two men squared off at WrestleMania XXIV
. Big Show
entered the ring with a 16" height advantage and weighed more than twice as Mayweather. This David vs. Goliath battle didn't end with David using a rock, he used a pair of brass knuckles instead. However, all did not end well for Mayweather. He didn't make the $20 million that he was rumored to be making for this match.
Ricky Hatton vs. Chavo Guerrero
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Ricky Hatton was the celebrity guest host for Monday Night RAW
on November 9, 2009. During the program, Chavo Guerrero
first challenged Ricky to a game of darts which Chavo lost. Chavo then got into it with Santino Marella
, who was dressed as Ricky Fatton. After hearing the bickering, Ricky gave Chavo the boxer vs. wrestler match he asked for. Only instead of fighting Ricky Fatton, he had to face Ricky Hatton. Ricky easily knocked Chavo out during their match later in the show.
Mike Tyson & Chris Jericho vs. D-Generation X
Photo of Tyson/Holyfield 2 after the ear bite: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Mike Tyson was the celebrity guest host for RAW on January 11, 2010. Tyson teamed with Chris Jericho
against Shawn Michaels and Triple H
, two men that he betrayed at WrestleMania XIV
. At that show, he was the special enforcer referee for Shawn's WWE Championship defense against Steve Austin. Prior to the match, it appeared he was a member of D-X but he wound up knocking Shawn out. During this episode of RAW, he made things right with D-X when he knocked out his tag team partner Chris Jericho which allowed D-X to win the match. Tyson then celebrated with his old friends D-Generation X.