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When Hulk Hogan appeared in the 1982 smash-hit movie Rocky III, as “Thunderlips,” it was the first time that millions of movie-goers had been introduced to the concept of a boxer vs. wrestler confrontation. But it was also far from the first—or last, for that matter.
It’s not conclusively known when the first boxer vs. wrestler match took place, but we do know that such bouts have been thrilling audiences since at least 1914, when world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson faced pro wrestler Fred Marcussen under MMA rules.
The battle for superiority between the worlds of boxing and pro wrestling still rages today, and while critics would point to a certain amount of pre-orchestration in putting such matches together, the spectacle of two gladiators representing their distinct combat discipline often makes for gripping viewing. In some cases, pro wrestlers have fought boxers at their own game, and vice versa. Understanding that there is serious box office to be made, WWE has presented many contests over the years that comprise wrestlers and boxers. At Crown Jewel on Oct. 31, the latest boxer vs. wrestler chapter will be presented when lineal champion Tyson Fury takes on Braun Strowman.
In anticipation of that clash, Muscle & Fitness decided to take a look at 10 legendary boxers who have crossed over to the WWE Universe either as a competitor or special guest referee.
To relive some of WWE’s greatest pro wrestling vs. boxing rivalries, and to watch Crown Jewel live via WWE Network on October 31, visit WWE.com. Subscribers can get their first month FREE.
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