Exhibition fight

An exhibition fight is a contact sports non-profit event, usually a boxing fight in which participants fight, normally for three rounds. They may wear large gloves to minimize punch harm or impact on the combatants, headgear, and non-boxing related clothing. Many exhibition fights involve popular current or former world champions, and exhibition bouts are usually carried out for charity purposes or for the public's entertainment. Exhibition fights are usually not listed as having taken place on boxer's career records.

In England, such boxers as Jem Mace, Jimmy Wilde and Tommy Farr boxed both official and exhibition bouts at what were called "boxing booths".

In Russia during the early 1890s, aristocrat Mikhail Kister performed at exhibition boxing fights.[1]

Early 20th century

Early in the 20th century, boxing exhibitions became popular across the United States. Many times, official fights had to be advertised as exhibitions, due to state laws prohibiting professional boxing. As the century progressed, Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson[2] and others fought exhibition fights. Benny Leonard did an exhibition for the United Drive Rally on May 23, 1923.[3]

Late 20th century

Exhibition fights became less common as the 20th century progressed. However, a number of notable ones, many including Muhammad Ali, took place. Ali boxed both well known boxers and celebrities from other walks of life during this period, including Michael Dokes,[4] Antonio Inoki,[5] Gorilla Monsoon,[6] Lyle Alzado,[7] Dave Semenko,[8] and the famous Puerto Rican comedian Jose Miguel Agrelot (with Iris Chacon acting as Agrelot's corner-woman).[9]

About six months after Ali beat him for the world Heavyweight title, George Foreman participated in five exhibition fights in one afternoon: on April 26, 1975, he boxed Jerry Judge, Boone Kirkman, Charley Polite, Terry Daniels and Alonzo Johnson at Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[8]

On January 1, 1985, a show including several world champion boxers in exhibition fights was staged in Mexico City, Mexico to garner money for the victims of a 1984 gas explosion in Mexico. Among those who fought were Lupe Pintor, German Torres, Julio César Chávez and Hector Camacho Sr.[10] The latter two would face each other in an actual official fight on September 1992, which Chávez won by unanimous decision.[11]

21st century

In 2006, Mike Tyson announced he would do a world tour consisting of exhibition bouts.[11] The only one of these fights to actually take place was a bout against his former sparring mate and fellow former professional boxer Corey "T-Rex" Sanders. This fight took place at Youngstown, Ohio.[12]

In 2009, recently retired boxer Óscar De La Hoya and basketball player Shaquille O'Neal held an exhibition boxing fight as an episode of the ABC television show Shaq Vs..[13]

Late in 2014, Julio César Chávez returned to the ring for an exhibition with Vicente Sagrestano in a bout aimed at collecting toys for poor children.[14] He and former rival Mario Martinez, against whom he earned his first world championship in 1984, faced each other again on July 3, 2015, in an event to benefit Chavez's two drug rehabilitation clinics.[15]

On December 31, 2018, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa held an exhibition boxing fight at Rizin 14 Saitama.[16]

On November 28, 2020, boxers Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. faced each other in an exhibition fight resulting in a draw.

See also


  1. Kyle McLachlan. "GGG Genesis: The history of Kazakh boxing part two". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved July 11, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. Burns, Ken. "Timeline". Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. PBS. Retrieved July 11, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "Jo Sports Inc". Josportsinc.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. "Michael Dokes, Larger-Than-Life Heavyweight Boxer, Dies at 54". The New York Times. August 14, 2012. Archived from the original on August 23, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. Aaron Tallent. "The Joke That Almost Ended Ali's Career". The Sweet Science. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. Gorilla Monsoon goes toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali: Championship Wrestling. WWE. June 1, 1976. Retrieved July 11, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. "Muhammad Ali Boxing Football's Lyle Alzado". Boxing Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 11, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. "Greatest Hockey Legends.com: Ali vs. Semenko - It Really Happened". Greatesthockeylegends.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. "Filantropia - Fundación José Miguel Agrelot". Doncholito.org. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. "World super featherweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez scored a..." Upi.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. "Thomas & Mack Center History" (PDF). Thomasandmack.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. Rafael, Dan (September 28, 2006). "Cash-strapped Tyson announces exhibition tour". ESPN.
  13. "Shaq vs. Oscar de la Hoya". Shaq Vs. Season 1. Episode 4. September 8, 2009. ABC. Retrieved December 11, 2020 via YouTube. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. "Luce JC Chávez en exhibición". ESPN.com.ar. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. "Julio César Chávez y "Azabache" Martínez lucen en exhibición de box". Univision.com. Retrieved 2015-07-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. Rafael, Dan (December 31, 2018). "Floyd Mayweather-Tenshin Nasukawa a laughable event". ESPN. Retrieved December 11, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)