Nickname: The Greatest / aka Cassius Clay
Professional Ring Record: 56-5 / 37 by KO
Held Heavyweight Championship: 1964-1970, 1974-1978, 1978-1979
Famous Quote: “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”
By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
Muhammad Ali peacefully passed away due to respiratory complications in a Phoenix-area, Arizona hospital on June 3, 2016. He was 74 years old.
In my own era of boxing that started in 1961, he was certainly the most gifted heavyweight champion with quickness, the best left jab ever and footwork beyond any heavyweight of our time. A fighter with ring movements as smooth as any. His three-and-a-half-year layoff for refusal of military service was taken in the pinnacle of his career.
He was the most recognized sports figure over a three decade period of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and maybe ever. Fought Joe Frazier in three epic’ bouts, with the March 8, 1971 fight between two undefeated champions – the “Fight of the Century”. He also had a most historical bout with, then, undefeated George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, Africa, handing Foreman his “only” knockout loss in, his 81 total bout career.
Sports Illustrated magazine named Ali the top sportsman of the 20th century.
There will never be another Muhammad Ali. I have been blessed to have lived in his entire career and have seen all his fights. In is honor, I will re-publish on this website each week (starting next week) a six part series that I previously wrote about him in 2008. I will also include a few photos with each article from my private collection of Ali memorabilia for viewing.
The champ – always and forever – may your soul rest peacefully in heaven with the Lord!