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Muhammad Ali To Be Inducted Into WWE Hall of Fame

One of boxing’s greatest heavyweight champions of all time is headed into the WWE Hall of Fame.


Muhammad Ali

The late great Muhammad Ali will be celebrated once more for his amazing contributions to the sports world on April 5. The ceremony that will honor Ali will take place in Philadelphia as the WWE will be celebrating its 40th annual WrestleMania weekend.


In 1990, Ali entered the International Boxing Hall of Fame as part of its very first class. A three-time heavyweight champion, Ali achieved a sixth-round technical knockout victory over Sonny Liston in 1964 and an eighth-round knockout of George Foreman in 1974. To many, Ali was considered an underdog in both fights; however, in true Ali fashion, he indeed shocked the world.

Ali’s presence in the world of sports spanned across the globe, leaving an impact on millions of fans who were able to witness his greatness firsthand. In 1976, Ali participated in an exhibition match against the pro-Japanese wrestling legend Antonio Inoki in Tokyo, in front of 32,000 spectators. The 15-round bout was ruled a draw and was broadcast via closed circuit to over 33,000 people at Shea Stadium, then home of the New York Mets. The buildup before the exhibition included media coverage of Ali appearing on WWF, now formally known as WWE, where he stormed into the ring to challenge WWE icon Gorilla Monsoon.


Nearly ten years would pass before Ali would return to the wrestling ring, only this time around, he entered as a special guest referee for the main event match during WWE’s first-ever WrestleMania, which featured Hall of Fame wrestler Hulk Hogan and Mr. T as they faced off against another Hall of Famer, Roddy Piper, and Paul Orndorff.


Ali's final ring appearance would come in 1995 when he appeared as the guest of honor at the infamous “Collision” in Korea pay-per-view wrestling event.

 

Ali’s greatness, as you can see, has spanned not only the boxing world but also into the wrestling entertainment business, where he could just as easily put on a show. Ali has been awarded many accolades, which include being an Olympic Gold Medalist earned in 1960. He has also been recognized for his social activism contributions, where he refused to join the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. While he may have been stripped of his heavyweight championship, he won the ultimate goal of standing up for what he believed in.


After all the years that have passed, Ali will finally be joining Inoki in the WWE Hall of Fame. During the ceremony at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Ali will be inducted by his widow, Lonnie Ali. The ceremony will be live-streamed on Peacock, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.

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