Of all the episodes in the iconic boxing career of Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at age 74, perhaps the most curious came in a Japanese ring.

On June 26, 1976, Ali fought professional wrestler Antonio Inoki at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan Hall in a mixed martial arts match billed as "The Bout of the Century." It was watched by an estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide.

What they saw, however, was a bizarre and tedious 15-round spectacle that left the crowd chanting for its money back and Ali struggling to live down the embarrassment.