Date: 24th March 1975
Venue: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio, USA
Title: WBC & WBA World Heavyweight Titles
Promoter: Don King Productions
Tv: Closed Circuit Television
( 45 - 2 - 0 )
Weight: 223 1/2 lbs
( 31 - 9 - 2 )
Weight: 225 lbs
Five months after regaining the WBC & WBA World heavyweight titles from George Foreman in Zaire, Ali made his first defence against Wepner at The Richfield Coliseum in Richfield Township, Ohio.
Billed as 'Give the White Guy a Break', the match was seen as a mismatch. Wepner, known as 'The Bayonne Bleeder' because of his propensity to cuts, had lost on nine occasions and needed 120 stitches after his June 1970 fight against Sonny Liston.
Ali knocked out Wepner in the 15th round, referee Tony Perez reaching the count of ten at 2:41 of the final round.
Wepner is credited with scoring a knockdown against Ali but he actually stepped on Ali's foot.
It is this fight that is said to have been the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone's Rocky character.