A follow-up to the surprisingly successful (if totally tasteless) Celebrity Boxing, Celebrity Boxing II aired on May 22, 2002 on the Fox network in the U.S. It adds a fourth bout and another 30 minutes of air time, stretching it to a whopping 90 minutes. The setting was also moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.

Hosted by Chris Rose of "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period" and professional lightweight boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini, and with announcer Michael Buffer on hand, Celebrity Boxing II once again attempts to give a vaguely legitimate spin to an event which centers around washed-up celebrities hitting each other. The national anthem was performed by "Celebrity Boxing" loser Barry Williams of "The Brady Bunch."

The principals:

  1. Darva Conger vs. Olga "Olia" Korbut. Conger was thrust into the spotlight on February 15, 2000 when she "won" on "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire" on Fox, agreeing to marry Rick Rockwell. The marriage was annulled after Rockwell was found to have a history of spousal abuse, and Conger was relatively apathetic about the whole matter. After condemning the mass media for trivializing her ordeal, she posed nude in Playboy magazine. Olga Korbut is a moderately successful gymnast from the Soviet Union, and won many gold medals during the 1970s for the USSR. More recently, Korbut was arrested on charges of shoplifting, but those charges were dropped.
  2. Dustin Diamond vs. Ron "The Pulverizer" Palillo. Diamond will forever be known as "Screech," the lovable nerd from "Saved by the Bell." Diamond also appeared on "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" and "Saved by the Bell: The New Class." Ron Palillo, who at age 48 is old enough to be Diamond's father, was "Horshack" on "Welcome Back, Kotter."
  3. William "The Refrigerator" Perry vs. Manute "The Sudanese Freedom Fighter" Bol. Both were sports curiosities in their day, gaining more attention for their dimensions than their athletic ability. Perry played football for the Chicago Bears and was nicknamed "the refrigerator" due to his enormous size. Fox lists him as being 6'3" and weighing 375 pounds "and some change." Bol came from the Sudan to the U.S. to play basketball for the Washington Bullets, where his 7'7" frame was the tallest in the NBA. This led to him gaining a huge number of blocked shots, but he was not as productive on offense.
  4. Joey "The Gladiator" Buttafuoco vs. Joanie Laurer. The lone inter-gender match of the night. Those who remember the hype around Celebrity Boxing might remember that Amy Fisher was originally slated to fight Tonya Harding, but it was determined that the event would violate Fisher's parole. This time, Fox signed up the man with whom she slept to start the whole mess, the now-46-year-old Buttafuoco (pronounced "but-a-FEW-koh"). His opponent is Joanie Laurer, who professional wrestling fans would know better as Chyna. Laurer is listed as weighing 170 pounds, nearly all of it muscle. She has appeared twice in Playboy magazine.

The results:

  1. Conger-Korbut: Conger and Korbut were very upbeat during their pre-fight vignettes, considering that there is really no bad blood between them. Conger appears to have changed in appearance from her fling on "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" due possibly to some plastic surgery.

    Conger came out swinging in a big way in Round 1, landing some heavy blows on Korbut. Neither fighter went down, but Conger obviously landed many of the heavier blows. Round 2 saw the fighters a bit more tentative, but Conger finished the round by landing a series of about eight shots to the body and head while Korbut was pinned helplessly against the ropes. Round 3 included some bigger blows on both sides, but Korbut was saved by the bell at the end after being knocked down with a couple of seconds left.

    Conger won by unanimous decision after the third round.

  2. Diamond-Palillo: The "battle of the sitcom stars," as they called it, featured two people known for playing geeky characters. Diamond looked to be in passable shape, but the producers had a very hard time making Palillo look even remotely athletic.

    The pace of the fight was almost pathetically slow at first, as the two pasty actors cautiously approached each other. Diamond dominated at first, even going so far as to taunt Palillo. Round 1 ended without a knockdown, but Diamond got some good shots in. Diamond knocked Palillo down right at the start of round 2, but Palillo was given a standing 8-count. This enraged Palillo, who came out flailing at Diamond only to receive some more punishment from the taller and heavier actor. After a second knockdown, the referee stopped the fight and gave a TKO to Diamond at 1:28 of the second round.

  3. Perry-Bol: The Fridge and Manute both looked psyched for the fight, although Manute is extremely skinny -- despite a 102" reach, it looks like he could be snapped in two at any moment. The Fridge is still, well, huge. While Bol just stepped over the ropes to enter the ring, Perry needed the assistance of his trainers to part the ropes.

    Bol was the only of the two who was trying to box; at two points during the first round, Perry charged Bol as an offensive linesman would do to someone he intends to block. The two are hopelessly mismatched; this bout is the perfect example of why weight classes were created. The second and third rounds consisted of more Bol boxing and Perry charging.

    Bol won a terrible unanimous decision, but will at least be donating the proceeds to a foundation to benefit wayward Sudanese families.

  4. Buttafuoco-Laurer: Being from the WWF (now WWE), Laurer is proficient at the art of trash talk. She has painted herself as sort of a heroine for all women, and Buttafuoco is being shown as the bad guy (heel?) in this rivalry. To seal the deal, Buttafuoco taunted Laurer before the fight, saying that he'll send her back to the kitchen "where she belongs."

    Buttafuoco got off to a shocking start, pummeling Laurer early in the first round to boos from the audience. Laurer threw very few punches but was knocked into the corner by Buttafuoco's flailing punches. Round 2 started with some exciting exchanges culminating in Buttafuoco throwing Laurer to the ground in a wrestling-like move. Buttafuoco continued to dominate to the crowd's anger, but Laurer started to fight back. Round 3 continued with Laurer getting knocked down once again and the pummeling continuing.

    In the end, Buttafuoco shocks the world by defeating Laurer in a majority decision, 28-28, 29-27, 29-28. Laurer challenged Buttafuoco to a match in "my ring" -- the wrestling ring -- and Buttafuoco left that possibility open.

I'm glad I don't have anything to do right now, since that 90 minutes was not well spent.

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