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Wide World Boxing
Milestones and Highlights
APRIL 11 -- Challenger Cassius Clay, soon to adopt the Muslim name of Muhammad Ali, defeats champion Sonny Liston, taped from Miami Beach, Florida in the first World Heavyweight Championship fight to be televised on "Wide World of Sports"...Clay knocked Liston out in the seventh round.
MAY 30 -- The U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials includes the loss of Joe Frazier to Buster Mathis in the heavyweight division...Mathis, however, broke his knuckle prior to the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Frazier was substituted and went on to win the gold medal.
MAY 29 -- The rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston from Lewiston, Maine that ended in the first round after a mysterious punch by Ali, leading to cries of "fix" by Bates College students that stormed the ring.
APRIL 2 -- Muhammad Ali defeats George Chuvalo in a 15-round decision to retain his World Heavyweight Championship Fight in Toronto, Canada.
MAY 21 -- The Muhammad Ali - Henry Cooper World Heavyweight Championship fight from London is the first time a fight was beamed live from Europe and the first live heavyweight title fight on home television since 1959...Ali retains his title with a sixth-round TKO.
SEPTEMBER 10 -- Muhammad Ali defeats Karl Mildenberger in heavyweight title defense, live from Frankfurt, West Germany with a 12th-round TKO.
NOVEMBER 26 -- Muhammad Ali defends his world heavyweight title for the sixth time in 1966 on Wide World of Sports against Cleveland Williams...the first, Ali-Patterson has been taped in 1965, but the other five were either live or on short delay.
MARCH 11 -- Interview with Muhammad Ali and Wilt Chamberlain, when Ali said Chamberlain would have to shave his beard because he wouldn't "fight no billygoat".
JUNE 28 -- New York World Heavyweight Championship fight between Joe Frazier and Jerry Quarry, won by Frazier in the seventh round, plus Olympic champion George Foreman's first professional fight against Don Waldheim.
FEBRUARY 21 -- Fight between Joe Frazier and Jimmy Ellis for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship from New York City...Frazier won with a KO in the fifth round.
OCTOBER 31 -- Muhammad Ali wins fight with Jerry Quarry in the third round, ending his three-year absence in Atlanta.
NOVEMBER 21 -- World Heavyweight Championship fight between Joe Frazier and Bob Foster in Detroit, Michigan ends in a second round knockout by Frazier.
MARCH 13 -- Analysis of World Heavyweight Championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier with Muhammad Ali.
SEPTEMBER 23 -- Muhammad Ali ends the career of former world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson with a seventh round knockout in New York City.
NOVEMBER 25 -- The seventh highest rated show in Wide World of Sports history features the Muhammad Ali-Bob Foster fight, the World Ski Flying Championships and a report on Olga Korbut.
JANUARY 27 -- Wide World of Sports coverage of the World Heavyweight Championship fight between Joe Frazier and George Foreman from Kingston, Jamaica...can you say, "Down Goes Frazier, Down Goes Frazier, Down Goes Frazier."
MARCH 31 -- Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton Heavyweight fight from San Diego, California....Norton won the fight in a 12-round decision...that show ranks as the eighth highest rated in Wide World of Sports history.
SEPTEMBER 15 -- The Muhammad Ali - Ken Norton rematch, won by Ali in 12 rounds.
JANUARY 26 -- Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in famous studio scuffle during show featuring tape of their first fight in 1971.
MARCH 2 -- Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in their second fight in New York City.
MARCH 16 -- World Lightweight Championship fight between Roberto Duran and Estaban DeJesus from Panama City, Panama...Duran was knocked down by DeJesus in the first round but came back to knock out the Puerto Rican in the 11th round to retain his world title.
MARCH 31 -- World Heavyweight Championship fight between George Forman and Ken Norton, won by Foreman with a second round TKO.
SEPTEMBER 21 -- Wide World of Sports returns to Havana, Cuba for the World Boxing Championships which featured the great Teofilo Stevenson
JANUARY 5 -- Broadcast of Muhammad Ali - George Foreman title fight from Kinshasa, Zaire, with Ali knocking Foreman out in the eighth round to claim the world heavyweight title for the second time in his career...this still ranks as the second highest rated show in Wide World of Sports history.
MARCH 29 -- World Heavyweight Championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, won by Ali with a 15th-round TKO.
JULY 26 -- Coverage of the North American Continental Boxing Championships features a young Sugar Ray Leonard in the first of many appearances on Wide World of Sports...Keith Jackson calls him a young boxer to watch...boy was that a great call.
SEPTEMBER 13 -- World Heavyweight Championship fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
JANUARY 11 -- Wide World of Sports telecasts tape of Muhammad Ali defeating Joe Frazier in the "Thriller in Manilla" heavyweight title fight...Ali won the fight when Frazier didn't answer the bell for the 14th round...afterwards, Ali said it was the "closest to death I've ever been"...he said he hit Frazier with punches that would crumble walls but he wouldn't go down...the show is the third highest rated in the history of Wide World of Sports.
OCTOBER 2 -- Exclusive Sports Illustrated still photographs of Muhammad Ali - Ken Norton heavyweight fight and interviews with Ken Norton, Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
JANUARY 2 -- Interview with Muhammad Ali
MAY 14 -- Sugar Ray Leonard defeats Willie Rodriguez in the second fight of his professional career and the first on Wide World of Sports.
FEBRUARY 12 -- The USA - Cuba Amateur Boxing marks the first live telecast from Cuba since Castro came to power in 1959.
FEBRUARY 4 -- One of the great fights in the history of Wide World of Sports between Alexis Arguello and Alfredo Escalera for the WBC Super Featherweight title...Arguello retained his title with a 13th round knockout.
JULY 19 -- Wide World of Sports broadcast of WBC Welterweight Championships fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.
SEPTEMBER 27 -- Wide World of Sports' live broadcast of WBA/WBC Middleweight Championship fight between Marvin Hagler and Alan Minter...Hagler, who failed in one previous bid for the title, was victorious this time with a third-round TKO.
SEPTEMBER 5 -- One of the great fights on Wide World of Sports with the late Salvador Sanchez retaining his WBC Featherweight Championship with a victory against Wilfredo Gomez...less than a year later, he was killed in an automobile accident.
OCTOBER 17 -- Wide World of Sports coverage of the WBC/WBA Welterweight Championship fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, won by Leonard with a 14th round TKO.
NOVEMBER 27 -- Teofilo Stevenson - Tyrell Biggs fight from Reno, Nevada.
DECEMBER 11 -- One show, two great fights...Bazooka Limon loses his WBC Super Featherweight Championship to Bobby Chacon in a 15 round decision, while Wilfredo Gomez retained his WBC Super Bantamweight title against Lupe Pinto.
FEBRUARY 18 -- The USA - Cuba Amateur Boxing matches from Reno no doubt feature some of the bouts that would have been featured at the Olympic Games if the Cubans hadn't joined the Soviet boycott.
JANUARY 5 -- Live coverage of Mark Breland's second professional fight against Marlon Palmer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
JANUARY 20 -- Second professional fights of Pernell Whitaker (vs Danny Avery), Evander Holyfield (vs Eric Winbush) and Meldrick Taylor (vs Dwight Pratchett), live, from Atlantic City...Whitaker, Holyfield and Taylor become regulars on WWOS in 1985.
APRIL 20 -- The second professional fight of Olympic gold medalist Tyrell Biggs.
SEPTEMBER 28 -- Barry McGuigan defends his WBA Welterweight title against Bernard Taylor in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
FEBRUARY 15 -- Having won his WBA Welterweight title in London, England and defended it in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Barry McGuigan defends his title against Danilo Cabreira in Dublin, Ireland, making him truly a champion of all Ireland.
MARCH 29 -- The delayed broadcast of one of the great fights ever on Wide World of Sports, between "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler and John "The Beast" Mugabi for the World Middleweight Championship, won by Hagler with an 11th round knockout.
JULY 12 -- Evander Holyfield wins his first world title with a 15-round decision against Dwight Qawi for the WBA Junior Heavyweight crown, live, from Atlanta.
JULY 26 -- Mike Tyson destroys Marvis Frazier with a first round knockout in their heavyweight fight, live, from Glenn Falls, New York...in the same show, Barry McGuigan loses his WBA Welterweight crown in a 15-round decision to Steve Cruz in Las Vegas.
JULY 16 -- In an exclusive interview with Wide World of Sports, owner-trainer Louee Russel announces the retirement of Preakness and Belmont winner Risen Star. Five weeks earlier Risen Star won the Belmont Stakes by 20 lengths. Only his sire, the great Secretariat, had won the race by a larger margin. Risen Star would go on to be named Horse of the Year.
MARCH 4 -- North Dakota becomes the 48th state Wide World of Sports has visited for the Virgil Hill - Bobby Czyz fight for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship in Bismark.
APRIL 1 -- Evander Holyfield - Michael Dokes heavyweight fight and a live studio interview with Holyfield.
JUNE 24 -- One of the great Wide World of Sports fights: Dennis Andries - Jeff Harding for the WBC Light Heavyweight titles.
MARCH 2 -- Riddick Bowe versus Tyrell Biggs. WWOS is there as Bowe begins his rise to prominence in professional boxing.
JUNE 1 -- Mike Tyson defeats Razor Ruddock by TKO in a Heavyweight Fight, taped on March 18th. Referee Richard Steele stops fight in a controversial decision in Round 7. Tyson and Ruddock hug and then a fight between their respective corners breaks out.
FEBRUARY 1 -- A special report on Mike Tyson's trial and conviction of rape.
MARCH 6 -- Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield from Las Vegas. Round 10 is perhaps the greatest round in boxing history. Bowe wins with an 11th round knock-out.
JULY 22-- Mike Tyson retrospective: one month before his return to the ring.
APRIL 19, 1997 -- Wide World airs network television's first women's professional boxing match. Former kickboxer Yvonne Trevino wins the WIBF Superflyweight championship live from Las Vegas in a first-round TKO over Brenda Rouse. Incidentally, Rouse's trainer is the HIV-positive former heavyweight champ Tommy Morrison.
June 17-- Boxing returns to ABC's Wide World of Sports when Jose Louise Castillo upsets Stevie Johnston in the lightweight championship bout in Belgardens, CA.