Ali, the most-watched boxer in movies

by
Ali, the most-watched boxer in movies
Ali, the most-watched boxer in movies

Ali, the most-watched boxer in movies

by
Ali, the most-watched boxer in movies
Ali, the most-watched boxer in movies

Many human behavior analysts have always wondered why some people who conceive boxing as a brutal and primitive sport, leave such criteria aside when they go to the movies or watch it on TV. They have fun and even cheer excitedly when they watch a “fake” fight on the screen. However, they do not react in the same way if it is a documentary on boxing, which they watch with complete indifference.

Pablo Mérida, the Hispanic author of ‘El boxeo en el cine 1894-1994’ (Boxing in the cinema 1894-1994), offers a simple answer to the question, although there could be several: simply, according to Mérida, the reason is that they know that what they are watching is something from the unreal world, it’s fantasy, and they reject the true facts, in the second case.

Even though what follows is not directly related to the previous lines, it is worth mentioning that boxing is the sports discipline with the greatest participation in the Big Screen, almost from the very birth of the Seventh Art industry, which was created by the French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumiére, who copyrighted their invention on February 13, 1895 and then made their first film, Departure of the Workers from the Lumiére Factory in Lyon Monplaisir, which was, of course, presented on March 12th of the same year, three days after the filming.

Mérida says that since Thomas Alva Edison, who invented the kinetoscope and the kinetograph, joined forces with scientist William K.L. Dickson in order to form the embryo of what would eventually become the boxing film, the result of which would be the first film about the sport of fists, called The Leonard-Cushing Fight, whose rudimentary filming began on June 15, 1894 and was shown a few months later in a location on 83rd Street in New York. “None of the participants in the filming, nor any newspaper gave a clear version of how the evening ended…(but) boxing in the cinema was now a reality”(*).

From then until today, hundreds, if not thousands, of real and fictional fights have been presented in the cinema, with Muhammad Ali as the real-life character who has most often been at the center of the plot in documentaries such as “When We Were Kings”, “Ali, the Greatest”, “Facing Ali” and the most recent “I am Ali” (2014), as well as the well-known “Ali”, a film in which the actor Will Smith played the most famous boxer in history.

This is a very interesting topic that can be expanded and will be covered again in a future issue with new data.

(*) Ob.Cit.Page 19. Editorial Laertes S.A de ediciones, 1995


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