For Better Or Worse, The Spirit Of Ali-Inoki Lives

When Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki met on June 25, 1976 in Tokyo, Japan, to finally settle the wrestler vs. boxer debate they, well, didn’t settle anything. As everyone knows, that match turned out to be a total farce. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t the first time a promoter booked a wrestler vs. boxer match and it certainly won’t be the last. Naturally, every one of these bouts proved to be less exciting than a Great Khali vs. Kane match but, nevertheless, the New York State Wrestling Federation is hoping April 5th will turn out to be a little different.

That night in New Rochelle, NY, the NYSWF will present the latest boxer vs. wrestler matchup when they pit former light middleweight Larry Barnes (44-3-0) against Ring Of Honor star Larry Sweeney. Obviously, the JarryPark faithful have all heard of Sweeney but here is the skinny on Barnes: His biggest claim to fame was a fourth round TKO loss to Felix Trinidad in 1995 and his last fight was on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya vs. Julio Cesar Chavez in 1998 when he lost to Luis Ramon Campas via TKO in the third round.

Ten years later, he steps back into the ring for the first time to face one of the true rising stars in professional wrestling. I am always intrigued when a promoter takes a gamble and signs a match like this one so I invited NYSWF’s John Miele to talk about how this match came about and what fans can expect come April 5th. An interesting listen.


John Miele – 01/29/08

For more information on this match check out the NYSWF’s official website