Legendary boxing great Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 73 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Although, he was better known in boxing rings he had its share of moments in professional wrestling. Ali loved professional wrestling for the showmanship and he brought that presentation to the boxing world with his brash style and gift of gab. He cited Gorgeous George and Freddie Blassie as inspiration for what would come in legendary fights with George Foreman, Joe Frazier and others. And in turn he influenced Superstar Billy Graham, Dusty Rhodes and more tell me the art of the promo in professional wrestling. Here are some the highlights of his time both appearing and being a part of professional wrestling.

Gorilla Monsoon goes toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali: Championship Wrestling, June 1, 1976

Muhammad Ali & Freddie Blassie promoting the boxer versus wrestler match between himself and WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki in Tokyo:

Here are some interesting training matches done by Muhammad Ali with Dick The Bruiser, Freddie Blassie and Verne Gagne at the Chicago amphitheater

Muhammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki Boxer vs Wrestler June 26 ,1976

Anticipation for the fight was huge it would be broadcast to 34 countries around the world to an estimated audience of 1.4 billion. Because of time zone differences, the bout was seen on June 25 at over 150 closed circuit TV locations in the US. In New York, pro-wrestling promoter Vince McMahon, Sr. sold tickets to a closed-circuit telecast of the fight at Shea Stadium, and drew a crowd of 32,897. At Shea, the Ali and Inoki fight would be the main event on a card that also featured wrestler André the Giant vs. boxer Chuck Wepner. The Budokan itself in Tokyo was sold out, with the most expensive seats costing 300,000 Yen.

Ali returned to wrestling a few years later with the first Wrestlemania as a special guest enforcer on the outside of the main event featuring Hulk Hogan and Mr. T versus Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper:

After that, The Greatest would reappear a few months later for Bill Watts Midsouth Wrestling at one of their big New Orleans Superdome shows

Mid-South Wrestling – Lane vs Kamala / Roberts vs Snowman Superdome with Mohammed Ali -June 1, 1985

In 1994, Muhammad Ali would appear at WCW Halloween Havoc as the event in Detroit was helping his charity for underprivileged kids.

Ali made a special appearance on the WCW Collision in Korea Japanese home video release doing a magic trick for the Steiner Brothers at the airport in 1995

Here are some pictures of Muhammad Ali with the likes of Andre The Giant and others:

WWE posted the following tribute to Muhammad Ali a few years ago on his 70th birthday

As I said, earlier in the article as much as Muhammad Ali took from professional wrestling in his promo style he gave just as much. Our deepest condolences to the family and friends and fans of The Greatest.