World Heavyweight boxing Champion Muhammed Ali promised at a luncheon news conference in New York on Monday (10 February) that he would not hit opponent Chuck Wepner in the face during their forthcoming fight.
World Heavyweight boxing Champion Muhammed Ali promised at a luncheon news conference in New York on Monday (10 February) that he would not hit opponent Chuck Wepner in the face during their forthcoming fight. He went on to announce that from now on he would donate all his boxing earnings -- including the money from the Wepner fight -- to charity and the development of black-owned and operated business ventures.
These statements came during the special luncheon attended by Ali and Wepner to publicise their match in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 24. Wepner -- who spoke for only 50 seconds compared to Ali's hour at the microphone -- was a surprise choice to challenge Ali in his first title fight. He is not ranked among the United States' top three heavyweights, and his susceptibility to facial cuts has earned him the nickname "the Bayonne Bleeder."
Referring to Ali's request to be allowed to meet former World Champions Joe Frazier and George Foreman on the same night, Wepner predicted that Ali would find he had " a gang war by himself" in the ring on 24 March.
Ali has been promised at least 1.5 million U.S. dollars (625,000 pounds sterling) for the 15-round Wepner fight. He explained his decision to give away all his boxing profits by saying he felt "guilty making so much money so easy". He has pledged money to the United Negro college and the charities operated by the Black Muslems, a religious sect of which he is a prominent member.