Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Elvis, ... King ... not a friend of kickboxing?

Beautiful story. It makes me cry in some very touchy parts. So emotional.

Source: http://www.trainingcenter.hr/kb_history_eng.html

Even Elvis Presley tried to sabotage the new sport (kickboxing) by offering Bill Walace, who worked for Elvis at that time, $10,000 not to participate in Anderson`s premiere event. Wallace refused his famous employer and supported his friend Mike Anderson. Then, Anderson introduced Full Contact Kickboxing to the whole world with a show that was televised for 1 hours world wide and shown on three separate occasions. The event was called "The World Professional Karate Championships" and was held Sept. 14,1974 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The announcers were Mike Anderson himself and Telly Savalas (Kojac), who was the number one television star in the world at that time. The event broke every world martial art record for television viewers, number of live spectators, paid attendance and prize money. The first full contact World Champions were crowned: Joe Lewis (Heavyweight), Jeff Smith (Lt. Heavyweight), Bill Wallace (Midleweight) and Mexico`s Isaias Duenas (Lightweight).Kojac was just one of over 200 of Hollywood`s biggest stars who atended the live event. At ring side were such notables as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lorne Greene (Bonanza), David Carradine (Kung Fu), Peter Falk (Colombo), George Peppard (A-Team) and Ryan O`Neil (Love Story), just to mention a few. Chuck Norris was a side judge and Pricilla Presley, Elvis` wife, was the scorekeeper. Bruce Lee`s wife Linda was even involved in the live show. Truly, it was the most spectacular event in the history of martial arts, by far. Mike Anderson produced, directed and even announced the event all by himself. The televised he co-produced with Universal Television, the largest television company in the world.

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