Muhammad Ali was an out-of-sight favorite to successfully defend his title against Alfredo Evangelista of Spain last night at Capital Centre.
It was Ali's ninth defense of his championship since recapturing it from George Foreman in Zaire on Oct. 30, 1974.
Asked what odds he established, Jimmy (The Greek) Snyder said from Las Vegas, "How high is the sky? How high can you make it? Call it 25 to 1. To put any less of a price would be fooling the people. Nobody knows the guys Evangelista has fought."
Still, Ali apparently was taking no chances of being caught out of top condition when he weighed in at 221 1/4 pounds to Evangelista's 209 1/2 Sunday. He is 35 years old, Evangelista 22.
Evangelista, a naturalized Spaniard who was born in Uruguay, was the first Spanish citizen to challenge for the heavyweight title since Paolino Uzcudun lost a 15-round decision to Primo Carnera in Rome on Oct. 22, 1933.
Ali helped to swell the gate by purchasing $200,000 worth of tickets and distributing them to disadvantaged groups in the area.
It was his second title defense at Capital Centre. On April 30, 1976, he outpointed Jimmy Young of Philadelphia and the decision was roundly booed.
In his last bout, Ali was awarded a decision over Ken Norton in September in New York City that also was disputed.