Ali and “The Big Easy”

A recent family trek to the Pelican State reminded me of my first trip to Louisiana.

Naive and a month shy of getting my driver’s license, I was among about a dozen folks who traveled to New Orleans in 1978 to see an aging Muhammad Ali fight a dentally deprived Leon Spinks.

Ali won the bout and we witnessed history — his unprecedented third heavyweight title — from floor seats in the Superdome.

But the events leading up to the fight were almost as eye-opening as the bout, itself.

Allowed to wander in a Winnebago, I palled around with characters with names such as Pig and Frog and Bubba. I watched poker players lose their money. I saw beer drinkers lose their lunch.

On Bourbon Street, I got a glimpse of probably more than I should have.

But it was a road trip for the ages, and I was lucky to be along for the ride.

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2 thoughts on “Ali and “The Big Easy”

  1. I too was at that fight along with my mom, dad and Tulane roommate along with 85,000 others as I recall. There were two other world championship bouts of the 5 total … including Ray Boom Boom Mancini who bled easily and profusely. I like the streaker … that took guts.

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