Monday, January 8, 2018

Governor Brendan Byrne vs. Muhammad Ali

Governor Brendan Byrne served as the governor of New Jersey from 1974 to 1982. Byrne, a Democrat, was born to Irish American Catholic parents on April 1, 1924. He was raised in West Orange, New Jersey, and was educated at Seton Hall University, Princeton University, and Harvard Law School. During World War II, he served in the United States Army Air Corps. He entered the political spectrum in 1955 when he was appointed as assistant counsel to Governor Robert B. Meyner of New Jersey. Following the end of his second term as governor in 1982, Byrne returned to private legal practice and taught courses at Rutgers University and Princeton University. Byrne died at his home in Livingston, New Jersey on January 4, 2018 at the age of 93.

So why are we discussing Governor Byrne on a boxing website you ask? Well, we'll tell you!

On June 29th, 1979, world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali faced Governor Brendan Byrne and Jersey City Mayor Thomas Smith in exhibition bouts at the Jersey City Armory. The real winner of these exhibition bouts was the Jersey City Medical Center which received the proceeds from ticket sales at the gates. In 2010, Byrne was punched in the face by a mentally ill man near the Waterloo Tube Station in London, England. After the man was arrested, Byrne joked: "At least I didn't fall down at Waterloo, as when I fought Ali."

RIP Governor. 


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