“UNIFICATION”-JOHN CORRIGAN’S 10 GREATEST BOXERS IN WRESTLING

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10. Scott LeDoux

After retiring from boxing, “The Fighting Frenchman” became a referee for the AWA in the 1980s. As with many refs, he drew criticism from the wrestlers, particularly Larry Zbyszko. Larry Z finally grew incensed and attacked LeDoux, leading to their boxing match at WrestleRock ’86. Larry Z was disqualified, so the feud continued until a mystery assailant helped Zbyszko break LeDoux’s arm.

9. Ricky Hatton

A multi-time champion and one of the best British light-welterweights of all time, Ricky Hatton appeared on Raw in the midst of the celebrity guest host era. Whether he’s a fan of wrestling, who knows, but at least he got involved unlike most of the other “celebs.” After beating Chavo Guerrero in a game of darts, he then beat him in the ring with an easy, breezy K.O.

8. Buster Douglas

After shocking the world by knocking out Mike Tyson at the height of the latter’s popularity, Buster Douglas replaced the former heavyweight champion as the special guest referee for Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage at WWF The Main Event III. Of course, Hogan won and Macho Man was pissed, slapping the boxer out of frustration. Big mistake: Douglas added another knockout to his resume.

7. Leon Spinks

The man who upset Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title in 1978 entered New Japan about a decade later, facing Antonio Inoki in 1986. The boxing gloves came off by the fifth round as Inoki went to town on Spinks and pinned him in the eighth round. Spinks would later face other Japanese legends like Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Goto.

6. Evander Holyfield

During Matt Hardy and MVP’s feud in 2007, they tried to one-up each other in a variety of competitions, from basketball to pizza eating. They upped the ante on Saturday Night’s Main Event, agreeing to face off in a boxing match. However, MVP backed out and brought in former world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield to fight Hardy. After “The Real Deal” toyed around with Hardy for too long, MVP got mouthy and ate a fist for his actions.

5. Chuck Wepner

As part of the undercard for Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki’s closed circuit match in 1976, Andre the Giant faced Chuck Wepner, the real-life inspiration for the Rocky series. One year prior, Wepner had fought Ali for 15 rounds before being knocked out. His battle with Andre last only three rounds before “The Bayonne Bleeder” was tossed out of the ring and subsequently counted out.

4. Butterbean

The man who made a mockery of Brawl For All actually made two appearances in WWE: In Your House: D-Generation X, Butterbean defeated Marc Mero by disqualification in a “Toughman” match; and then at WrestleMania XV, he knocked out Bart Gunn in a mere 35 seconds.

3. Muhammad Ali

With his gift of gab, incredible athleticism and flair for showmanship, it’s no surprise that The Greatest was a huge wrestling fan. He made several appearances over the years, from seconding The Snowman in Mid-South Wrestling to being the special guest enforcer at the inaugural WrestleMania. No appearance was more high profile than when he agreed to face Antonio Inoki in Japan. In preparation, he made a stop in WWWF territory to hype up the fight and demonstrate his skills. Well, Gorilla Monsoon had a reputation to uphold, and picked up Ali for an airplane spin.

When Ali eventually faced Inoki, the rules were changed so that Inoki could only kick if one of his knees were on the ground. Thus, Inoki spent 15 rounds on his back kicking at Ali, causing two blood clots. Despite the lackluster (but predictable) ending of a draw, both men made millions of dollars for the spectacle.

2. Floyd “Money” Mayweather

The greatest moment in Big Show’s nearly 25 year career went down at No Way Out 2008 when he got his nose broken by Floyd “Money” Mayweather. It was so cool and unpredictable because Big Show had been away for months and Mayweather was the talk of the boxing world. It led to the “The Biggest vs. The Best” at WrestleMania XXIV as Mayweather put on one helluva winning performance against the giant.

1. Mike Tyson

Before Mike Tyson became a comedic foil and celebrity cameo, he was the most controversial figure in sports, fresh off biting Evander Holyfield’s ear. In the meantime, Austin had risen as the anti-hero, the profane rebel who flipped off authority and just won the Royal Rumble. The earth shook as the world’s toughest SOB came face-to-face with the baddest man on the planet in one of the greatest RAW moments ever.

The confrontation led to Tyson being the special guest enforcer for Austin’s title shot against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV. After masquerading as a member of D-X in the buildup, Tyson revealed his true colors, making a quick three count for Cold Stone and kicking off the Austin Era.

Iron Mike returned to Raw in 2010 as special guest host and teamed with Chris Jericho against Triple H and Michaels. Once again, Tyson pulled a swerve, revealing a DX shirt and re-aligning with his old pals. As of this writing, Tyson is the only boxer inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

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