Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Recall Joe Bugner? He wants to be the next John Wayne [archived newspaper article]

The Philadelphia Enquirer

November 8, 1978 

 He did manage to survive 27 rounds in two different fights with Muhammed Ali without being knocked off his feet.  – but is that enough to qualify Joe Bugner for Hollywood?

Wellm Hollywood, ready or not, here comes Joe Bugner. The former European heavyweight champion, who fought out of England but who was really Hungarian, has left his wife, packed up his gear, and arrived in Los Angeles to star in a movie to be called “Bulldozer.”

Bugner says that when he is not acting, he writes. In fact, he said, he has just finished a western novel and will turn it into a movie himself. Joe Bugner said, “What I really want to be now is the next John Wayne.”

     Bugner lasted 12 rounds in a losing decision to Ali in Las Vegas on Feb. 14, 1973. That apparently qualified him for a title shot against Ally on July 1, 1975 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – he lost that one, too, over 15 rounds in tropical heat that reached 105 degrees.

     Bugner was asked if he is attempting to emulate Ali now as a Hollywood type (Ali is in Mississippi making a movie with Kris Kristofferson; one of Ali’s guests down there recently was none other than John Travolta)? Joe Bugner said no, Ali is still celebrity No. 1 Joe Bugner also said that people had better not criticize his acting, not with Muhammed Ali around.

     “Am I a better actor than Ali?” Joe Bugner said. “Put it this way. I saw Ali’s movie, ’The Greatest.’ He was embarrassing.

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