June 25, 1976. On that night, I saw Andre the Giant “fight” Chuck Wepner at Shea Stadium. It was part of the Muhammad Ali-Antonio Inoki fiasco that was later telecast live from Tokyo on a huge three-sided screen on the infield. Ali was running out of opponents so he thought up this wrestler-boxer thing in Japan. Easy yen, Ali figured. Well it wasn’t that easy but more on that later. Wepner was known as the “Bayonne Bleeder” (he’d start to bleed, they’d say, while the referee was giving instructions in the ring). Anyway, it was time for the principals to enter the ring. Andre, a huge mass of blubber, was the first to come through the ropes. Wepner followed and when he stood next to the Giant, he looked like a 6-5 shrimp. The bell rang and immediately Wepner, who was the only one wearing gloves, started to use his jab. He tried it over and over with none of them landing and the only reaction Wepner got out Andre was a malevolent smile. In the second round Andre threw his first punch, a chop on the back of Wepner’s neck. “Ouch,” you could hear Wepner shout. It was starting to get funny when, in the third round, the Giant figured he’d had enough. Andre went over to Wepner, picked him up (much like you’d pick up your baby brother) walked over to the ropes and tossed him in the direction of second base. It wasn’t a bad throw, considering the ring was near the pitcher’s mound. Had someone not broken Wepner’s fall, he would’ve broken some bones. When it was over, Andre said, “I could’ve knocked him out in the first round, but he kept holding on the ropes.” Wepner, ever the die-hard, countered: “He hit me (with) an illegal shot. I could’a beat him otherwise. What determined an illegal shot in this so-called bout never was revealed. As it turned out, Wepner never could deal with wrestlers. A few months after being airlifted by Andre, the “Bayonne Bleeder” was defeated by Antonio Inoki in Tokyo - the same wrestler who had “fought” Ali. The then 35-year-old Wepner was counted out in the sixth (of a scheduled 10-rounder that mixed boxing and wrestler). Chuck Wepner couldn't get back in the ring before the ten count and Andre was ruled the third round winner of the boxing-wrestling bout.