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.
SV Ali and Wepner at microphones
AV Ali speaking...
CU Flag "Give the white guy a break as Wepner begins to speak.... SCU Wepner speaking (4 shots)
SV Ali seated (mute)
GV Newsmen (mute)
SCU Ali speaking
SEQ. 2: ALI: "Make an announcement. It's an announcement that Chuck Wepner bleeds. He bleeds, he bleeds. So I'll make another announcement that there will be no shots landing in his face. I will not land head shot. I will win this fight by laying on the romps. He'll get tired, he'll punch himself to death... and then I'm going to hit him in the stomach, hit him in the sides, in the chest. And I will beat him without one punch, one shot landing here. I don't want no excuse about that...not one shot."
WEPNER: "Now, all kidding aside... a great guy... he's a great champion...and I wish someone would give him a beigel or something to put in his mouth to keep him quiet while I'm speaking. Anyone got something good for him to eat? My God, it's unbelievable. And I think this is going to be one hell of a double header. And you're going to see the biggest success in sporting annals the night of the March 24 fight. Give Ali the chance to fight two guys one night? Well, on March 24 he's going to think he's got a-gang war by himself."
SEQ. 6: ALI: "I've already got money stacked up on top of money in various banks. I have buses, a Rolls Royce, homes... and something came to me the other night, and said "Ali, you're making all of this money, and it's going all just to you when there are thousands of black children hungry, and thousands of black people who don't have work, thousands of black children who don't have shoes to wear to school.
Something came to me.... I don't know...God, it's got to be God, because I've told him right now from this fight on, all my fights will be free. I won't accept one dollar and all of the profit that I make from the Chuck Wepner fight will be given away."
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Parts of the news conference are serviced on film.
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Background: 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.