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Old 10-09-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
Senor Pepe'
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Default Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

When Muhammad Ali was contemplating his 1980 comeback, a whole host of fighters were
mentioned for his 'first opponent'.

One, was 'highly regarded' undefeated 26 year-old, Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon, a 6' 3" 185 lb.
fast handed puncher, with a brittle right hand.

Willie with a record of 17-0-0 (13 KO's), was based in Portland, Oregon - and Muhammad was
thinking a 'Northwest Journey' might be nice in March 1980.

Muhammad had seen Willie 'The Cannon' fight in Las Vegas, and was impressed with his hand speed,
and power, despite being a 'thin-bean' at 6' 3" and 185 lbs.

February 24, 1980 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon stopped (KO 3) Jim 'Beam' Ingram to win the USA Nevada State Cruiserweight
Championship. Willie showed dazzling speed and quick right hand power, to flatten Jim Ingram.

Muhammad had called Willie, 'another Bob Foster', and a 'future Cruiserweight Champion'.

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 10-10-2012 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:44 AM   #2
Stevie G
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

I'd never heard of this guy,Pepe. Thanks for the 'skinny'
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

And weren't there some very preliminary discussions of Ali in there with Stallone's guy, Lee Canalito? Seems like there were always plenty of Ali rumors and names but very few transpired.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon got ranked as the #3 Cruiserweight as of March 1, 1980

Willie was fighting at 182 lbs., and was a very quick fighter, but had a brittle right hand,
which he broke numerous times. Willie was 'not' a Heavyweight, but could hit hard.

When Muhmmad Ali wanted to come back, they offered the bout to CBS-TV for a Friday Night Broadcast.
The proposal was for Muhammad Ali to receive a fight purse of $1,500,000 - and Willie Shannon to
get $100,000 for a scheduled 12-Round Bout.

But CBS-TV countered with $1,000,000 as a 'total fight purse bid' and a bout for 10-Rounds, with
Muhammad Ali paying Willie Shannon his fight purse, out of Muhammad Ali's share.

That offer 'stalled' the deal.

But ABC-TV came in, and was willing to take the bout as a scheduled 10-Rounder, and was willing to give
Muhammad Ali a fight purse of $1,150,000 - with Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon to get $75,000.

It was almost a go, but...............

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 10-10-2012 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

Stevie G,,,

Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon was approved for a late-May/early-June 1980 bout with
Muhammad Ali, set for a Friday Night ABC-TV bout.

But first, in a test-bout, on Saturday ABC-TV on the undercard of the Marvin Hagler vs
Bobby Watts II bout,,,,,,,on April 19, 1980 in Portland, Maine.

Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon 17-0-0 (13 KO's) got a $25,000 fight purse to 'show-off'
his talents on National Television versus Detroit Heavyweight - Dwain 'U.S.' Bonds.

The 6' 3" 185 lb. Shannon was out-weighed by 20 pounds, versus the 6' 0" 205 lb.
former 1974 National A.A.U Heavyweight Champion.

Willie fought well for the first-half of the bout, but when his fast-hands and hard-punches
couldn't dent the 'bigger' and more 'natural' heavyweight Dwain Bonds, 'The Cannon'
started to fire 'blanks'.

Dwain Bonds, a 'plodder' who had a record of 15-7-1 (7 KO's), just wore down the
'thin-bean' in the second-half of the bout, and finally caught up to 'The Cannon' in
Round 8, when Willie's legs started to go.

Dwain finished the exhausted 'Cannon' off in Round 9, by flooring him '3-times'.

For Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon, there went the $75,000 pay-day versus Muhammad Ali.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

Hulk,,

Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon kind of disappeared after the loss to Dwain Bonds.

He scored a couple of wins, and then fought Marvin Camel in a 1981 'Cruiserweight
Elimination' bout, and got flattened by (L KO 3).

He ended up in Las Vegas, and bounced around as a sparring partner for awhile, but
never really fulfilled his earlier promise.

He ended up getting arrested in Florida, for a related murder in Las Vegas.

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Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 10-10-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali vs. Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon '1980'

Double DD,

CBS-TV decided not to go with the Muhammad Ali vs Willie 'The Cannon' Shannon
bout because;

A) Muhammad Ali was near 235 lbs., and still not in shape.

B) On Televison, Muhammad would like a 'whale' at 235 lbs., versus a 'skinny' 182 lb.
Willie Shannon.

C) Nobody was sure, if Willie Shannon could handle a 'heavyweight punch', even one
from a 'fat old man'.

D) CBS-TV was getting 'called out' for prolonging Muhammad Ali's career by giving
him an untested and undersized opponent.
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