"That was no fight," heavyweight champion Muhannad Ali said yesterday of the Ken Norton-Duane Bobick bout Wednesday night.
"Bobick was overrated. He was so easy to hit, he had no defense, no experience at how to recover from a punch. The bout was overpublicized."
Ali, in training at the Sheraton Lanham Motor Inn for his title about Monday night at capital Center against Alfredo Evangelista, was asked why Norton might not do the same to him the next time they meet, inasmuch as Norton once beat Ali and was barely outpointed by him twice.
"The press talks about this (Monday's bout) being a bad fight, but Evangelista is better than Bobick. He would go longer against Norton than Bobick did.
"He can't," Ali said. "I don't just stand there. I dance. I keep going when I get hurt, even with a broken jaw. I want to see him fight Jimmy Young first and I'll fight the winner. That will save me the trouble of fighting them both again. I'm getting bored."
Ali said the reported deal that would give him $12 million to fight the winner of the Ken Norton-Buane Bobick bout n Rio was now off.
"They (a promotion headed by Banjamin 'Thompson, an air-conditioning magnate from California) were supposed to come up with $1 million up front, then $3 million more two months later, and the other $8 million three months later. They didn't get up the first $1 million."
Ali, who previously said he was "praying" for Bobick to beat Norton because he would draw more as a "white hope" than would Norton, was asked about the first round KO of Bobick.
"Norton will draw now," he said. "Look at Bobick - one round, one punch in the throat cost him $4 million. Look at George Foreman: he had a chance to earn about $12 million but he lost to Jimmy Young and now Foreman is no longer in the bidding.
That "overpublicized fight" in New York out of the way, Muhammad Ali was holding domestic court yesteday in the 10th-floor suite at the Sheraton Lanham Motor Inn.
The heavyweight boxing champion, who defends his little Monday night at Capital Centre against Alfredo Evangelista, made social news when the told interviewers from Uruguay and Argentina. "I'm getting married (for the third time) on June 19; I want to go to a Spanish country for my honeymoon.
There was much note-taking by the South American reporters, who surmised that Ali was hinting there might that Ali was hinting there might be substace to the report he was going to fight Ken North in Rhio de HJaneiro.
On a table behind Ali were two cartons of Pampers for his baby. Beside him was an end table with 11 jars of vitamins for the 35-year-old champion, who said it is becoming "harder to get up" for these title defenses.
The South Americans taped enough of Ali's stream-of-consciousness talk to rival in time David Forst's interviews of Richard M. Nixon.
One dared ask how Ali would take it when he finished boxing and all the attention came to an end.
"I'm always going to make news," Ali said, "the same as Joe Louis and Nixon; we're marked men. It's imposible for me to be out of the news."