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Video- The Night Muhammad Ali Fought Dave Semenko

from Joe Pelletier of Greatest Hockey Legends,

In the early 1980s the unofficial championship belt arguably belonged to Dave Semenko. The tough guy known as "Wayne Gretzky's bodyguard" was as big and strong and as feared as anyone on the rink.

So have you ever wondered what would happen if hockey's heavyweight champ got into a fight with boxing's heavyweight champ? Well that's exactly what happened on June 12th, 1983.

Some of the details about this three round exhibition are pretty sketchy. It turns out Mark Messier's uncle Larry was behind it all. He was always trying to promote something, and his idea of Hollywood celebrities playing the Oilers in a floor hockey match turned into a heavyweight battle between Semenko and Ali, who at 41 was just 5 years removed from his last title reign.

I turned to Semenko's excellent autobiography "Looking Out For Number One" and unearthed some more details, but I never did find out who won the fight. I've seen some online comments suggesting Semenko "acquitted himself nicely."

Semenko apparently trained quite hard for the event, training under Rocky Addison, a former Manitoba middleweight champion.


Watch the exhibiton bout below...

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dave+semenko, muhammad+ali


Paul's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/04/16 at 06:15 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/04/16 at 07:04 AM ET

wolverine's avatar

Before there was Gretzky or Jordan or Lebron there was Ali, the greatest - most recognizable athlete in all of sports.

Posted by wolverine on 06/04/16 at 09:57 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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