It was six more minutes of fame, in three two-minute rounds, for the competitors on Wednesday night’s ”Celebrity Boxing II,” Fox’s follow-up to its highly-rated March special. The eight fighters, known for accomplishments and scandals but not pugilistic prowess, filled out a card of lopsided matches, where height made for fight-winning might, culminating in an upset in the battle-of-the-sexes main event.
In the opening bout, Fox reality/exploitation veteran Darva Conger took on 1970s Olympic gymnastics gold medalist Olga Korbut. Korbut, 47, is still in great shape, but 36-year-old Conger had the tiny Olympian on the defensive the whole time. Her marriage to ”Multi-Millionaire” TV groom Rick Rockwell lasted longer than Korbut did.
The shortest fight was between former frizzy-haired sitcom high-school nerds Dustin ”Screech” Diamond and Ron ”Horshack” Palillo. The 25-year-old ”Saved by the Bell” alum is five inches taller than the 53-year-old former ”Welcome Back, Kotter” sweathog and outweighs him by more than 50 pounds. Nothing about the match was close, and after Diamond knocked Palillo down twice in round 2, the fight was stopped a minute and a half into the round, giving Diamond a TKO victory.
The freakiest fight was between former NFL great William ”Refrigerator” Perry, breaking the scale at 375 pounds, and 7-foot-7 Manute Bol, the tallest hoopster in NBA history. The defensive tackle kept trying to tackle his opponent, but Bol’s lengthy reach kept the Fridge too far away to land any serious blows. Bol took the belt, which was at about eye-level for Perry.
In the main event, Joanie Laurer, the wrestler formerly known as Chyna, took on tabloid fixture Joey Buttafuoco. Laurer had youth (she’s 30 to her opponent’s 46) and ring experience, and landed more blows, but Buttafuoco, who outweighs her by 75 pounds, threw her to the ground twice. Despite his un-Queensberry-like moves, judges awarded him the victory in a 2 to 1 vote. ”If he wants to play it that way, let’s go in my ring and play by my rules.” grumbled Laurer after the fight. No doubt Fox is already at work preparing ”Celebrity Wrestling.”