Wrestling & MMA

Dusty Rhodes almost battled Muhammad Ali at Orange Bowl in Miami

In 2014, The American Dream Dusty Rhodes talks about boxing great ‪Muhammad Ali.

So many similarities between the two legends. What Dusty did for pro wrestling, Ali did for boxing.

Hall of Famers, each great at their respective trade. Both outstanding with a mic, a gift for gab. Dusty had Gordon Solie, and Ali had Howard Cosell. Both moved well for big guys. Both displayed athleticism, charisma, showmanship.

Sports entertainers at their finest; they were two of the best at drawing, putting butts in seats.

As a youth, I was a big fan of Dusty and Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Ali’s nemesis. As I grew older, I respected Ali --- what he did for boxing and what he did for people globally. I will always remember him standing there, holding the torch at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, a special moment for sure.

The birth of The American Dream Dusty Rhodes occurred in Florida with Championship Wrestling from Florida in the 1970s. Miami served as a regular stop each week for CWF shows, and Miami was also where Ali trained with the legendary Angelo Dundee. They knew of each other, and it seemed only fitting that their paths would cross.

When I interviewed Dusty before a wrestling show at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair in 2014, he shared a story about Ali, almost battling him (wrestler vs. boxer) in the mid-1970s at the historic Orange Bowl in Miami. Too bad. That would have been classic and a lot better than Ali vs. Inoki.

The story starts at 3:40ish in the video interview.

The Greatest RIP