Remembering Marciano and Ali’s fight in 1969!

By Boxing News - 09/14/2023 - Comments

By Ken Hissner: In 1969, Murray Woroner was a producer and offered Ali $10,000 to fight Marciano. Marciano got a toupee and lost 50 lbs. over an 8-month span.

Marciano hadn’t fought in 13 years, and Ali was off for two years due to the New York Commission taking his license. Marciano was 49-0 with 43 knockouts, age 45 or 46, and Ali 29-0 with 22 knockouts, age 27.

Woroner put all types of data in a computer and filmed 75 one-minute rounds. Ali kept knocking his toupee off, and Marciano was mad, feeling he did it on purpose.

Ali warned Rocky to stop hitting him in the stomach, for it hurts, and it’s not a real fight. He also said, “I could hardly lift my arms at the end due to Marciano pounding on them!”

On August 31st, a month after filming, Marciano died in a plane crash, never seeing the final film. There were two versions, with Marciano winning by knockout in 13 rounds and Ali by decision. Pertaining to the knockout, Ali said, “The computer must have been made in Alabama!”

Viewing the fight on YouTube.  From the start, Ali weighing 215 pounds, danced around landing jabs in the first round. Marciano weighing 195 pounds, couldn’t cut the ring off, with Ali taking the round with Marciano hardly landing a punch.

In the second round’s first minute, Marciano landed a flurry of punches having Ali in a corner, taking the round.

In the third round, Marciano was cut on the right eyebrow after hurting Ali to the body with left hooks. Ali took the round.

In the fourth round, Marciano landed half a dozen body shots having Ali in a corner. Ali boxed his way out of it. In the final minute, Marciano landed three left hooks to the head of Ali taking a close round.

In the fifth round, Ali re-opened the cut on Marciano’s right eyebrow and drew blood from his nose. He boxed well until the final minute when Marciano took it to Ali’s body. It was Ali’s round.

In the sixth round, Ali opened another cut, this time on the left eyebrow of Marciano, and again the nose started bleeding. Marciano made a strong finish in the final ten seconds. Ali dominated the round.

In the seventh round, Ali re-opened the cut on the right eyebrow and dominated the round until the final thirty seconds when Marciano beat on Ali’s arms in a corner landing several chopping rights to the head.

It was Ali’s round. In the eighth round final thirty seconds, Ali landed a right on the chin, and down went Marciano for an 8-count from referee Chris Dundee. It was a big round for Ali.

In the ninth round, Marciano started bending down, trying to position himself for a big punch that never happened, as Ali easily won the round with his jab.

In the tenth round, Ali dominated until the final seconds when Marciano dropped him with a left hook on the chin for an 8-count as the bell sounded. It was a big round for Marciano.

In the eleventh round, Ali had Marciano’s right eyebrow bleeding badly. In the final minute, referee Dundee stepped in after a flurry of punches from Ali to check the cuts. He left it to continue in a big comeback round for Ali.

In the twelfth round, Marciano landed fifteen unanswered punches inside the first minute, with body punches dropping Ali for an 8-count. Ali managed to get through the round, which was Marciano’s round.

In the thirteenth round’s first minute, Marciano landed hard rights to the head of Ali, rocking him. Marciano landed a left to the chin, and down went Ali. He tried beating the count from referee Dundee but couldn’t at 0:57 of the round.

I scored it 8-4 in rounds for Ali, with Marciano having scored two knockdowns and Ali one knockdown having Ali ahead of Marciano 114-111 after 12 rounds.

YouTube video