January 4, 1970
“I’m the greatest!”
This line has been repeated by Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) so many times that many people have come to believe it. And, of course, the defrocked heavyweight boxing champ has gone a long way toward backing up his claim.
However, a little over a year ago, Woroner Productions of Miami electrified the boxing world with its presentation of the all-time computerized heavyweight championship tournament, which was broadcast over successive weeks on over 600 radio stations throughout the world.
The results of the tournament: Rocky Marciano was declared the greatest heavyweight champion of all time.
This verdict also electrified Muhammad Ali, who proceeded to file a $1 million suit against Woroner Productions contending that he would have beaten Marciano had the computer matched them. In the computer series, Muhammad had been eliminated by Jim Jefferies in a 15-round decision.
The law suit was settled for one dollar, but with the proviso that Clay be given a computer shot at Marciano.
At this point, Murray Woroner, president of the production company, became aware of the fact that he had all the ingredients for a truly “Super Fight” and proceeded along the lines of literally getting the two men into the ring and filming an actual fight.
Incredibly, both men jumped at the opportunity and agreed to meet in a secretly filmed match with the results being called by the computer.
The results are more of a secret than was the atomic bomb in 1946, and no one will know how the fight ended – except Woroner and two technicians – until the 84-minute film is shown simultaneously in over 500 theatres throughout the country on the night of Jan. 20.
The “Super Fight” is being staged in El Paso at 8 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Coliseum by Gory Guerrero. Tickets for the fight are on a first come first serve basis and are on sale daily at the Central Ticket Agency.
Woroner has taken elaborate precautions to determine that none of the over 500 outlets which will show the fight at the same time are able to sneak a preview. A copy of the film will be sent in bond to a Western Union office in each of the cities which have booked the fight. It will be delivered to the theatre or hall where it is to be shown by bonded messenger some 30 minutes before the fight is scheduled.
Marciano immediately went into an intensive training schedule and got himself into nearly the same width and condition as during his championship reign. Clay, too, rounded into shape.