Titles: Heavyweight champion from 1964-1967, 1974-1978 and 1978-1979 Record: 56-5-0 (37 K.O's) Born: January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky (USA) Years active: 1960-1981 Nickname: "The Greatest" or "The Louisville lip" Formerly known as Cassius Clay, probably the best known fighter to ever step into the ring and the best known athlete ever. Ali brought showmanship, excitement and unbelievable talent to the world of boxing. As a fighter he possessed the fastest hands anyone had ever witnessed at the heavyweight level. His defense rivaled Tunney and Johnson and when his defense failed him he had a chin that could take the punishment. His detractors claim he never possessed a real good heavyweight punch, the reason may be that like Jack Johnson he preferred to fight in a different style. After he won a Olympic gold medal at light heavyweight Ali began his pro career with a brashness never seen before. In his early days he was truly beautiful to watch as his lightning fast hands and feet left his opponents confused loosers. Early wins over good opposition like Willi Besmanoff and George Logan set up his first challenge as he defeated the crafty Archie in 4 one sided rounds. Good wins over Doug Jones and Henry Cooper set up a title shot at the seemingly invincible Sonny Liston. Ali shocked the boxing establishment with his upset win over Sonny Liston and made him a superstar overnight. It was after this fight that he converted to the Muslim faith and changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. The second fight with Liston eneded in controversial fashion as Ali landed the famous "Phantom Punch" that few saw but others claimed was a perfectly timed shot to the chin of Liston. Ali refused induction to the Army on religious grounds and was unjustly striped of his title. In a sense Ali was 2 different boxers. Before 1967 he was built for speed and youthful exuberance. When he returned from his forced 3 year exile (for his refusal on religious grounds to join the U.S Army) he was slower but much more cunning. Speed and his excellent chin were the keys to his greatness. Ali is of course most known for his 2 victorie and one loss with rival Joe Frasier. Ali went on to beat another seemingly unbeatable foe in George Forman before the his controversial 3 fights with Ken Norten in which many will tell Ali lost all 3 but was given the decision in 2. By then however Ali was nowhere near the lightning fast combination puncher he used to be. Ali went on to become the first man to win the heavyweight crown 3 times when he defeated Leon Spinks in a rematch.
1960 Oct 29 Tunney Hunsaker Louisville, KY W6 Dec 27 Herb Siler Miami Beach, FL KO4 1961 Jan 17 Tony Esperti Miami Beach, FL KO3 Feb 7 Jim Robinson Miami Beach, FL KO1 Feb 21 Donnie Fleeman Miami Beach, FL KO7 Apr 19 Lamar Clark Louisville, KY KO2 Jun 26 Duke Sabedong Las Vegas, NV W10 Jul 22 Alonzo Johnson Louisville, KY W10 Oct 7 Alex Miteff Louisville, KY KO6 Nov 29 Willi Besmanoff Louisville, KY KO7 1962 Feb 19 Sonny Banks New York, NY KO4 Mar 28 Don Warner Miami Beach, FL KO4 Apr 23 George Logan Los Angeles, CA KO6 May 19 Billy Daniels New York, NY KO7 Jul 20 Alejandro Lavorante Los Angeles, CA KO5 Nov 15 Archie Moore Los Angeles, CA KO4 1963 Jan 24 Charlie Powell Pittsburgh, PA KO3 Mar 13 Doug Jones New York, NY W10 Jun 18 Henry Cooper London KO5 1964 Feb 25 Sonny Liston Miami Beach, FL, (Won world heavyweight title) 1965 May 25 Sonny Liston Lewiston, Maine, KO1 (Retained world championship) Nov 22 Floyd Patterson Las Vegas KO12 (Retained world championship) 1966 Mar 29 George Chuvalo Toronto W15 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) May 21 Henry Cooper London KO6 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) Aug 6 Brian London London KO3 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) Sep 10 Karl Mildenberger Frankfurt, Germany KO12 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) Nov 14 Cleveland Williams Houston, TX KO3 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 1967 Feb 6 Ernie Terrell Houston, TX W15 (Retained World Heavyweight Title, wins WBA Title) Mar 22 Zora Folley New York, NY KO7 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 1970 Oct 26 Jerry Quarry Atlanta KO3 Dec 7 Oscar Bonavena New York KO15 1971 Mar 8 Joe Frazier New York L15 (For World championship) Jul 26 Jimmy Ellis Houston, TX KO12 (Won Vacant NABF Heavyweight Title) Nov 17 Buster Mathis Houston, TX W12 Dec 26 Jurgen Blin Zurich, Switzerland KO7 1972 Apr 1 Mac Foster Tokyo W15 May 1 George Chuvalo Vancouver, B.C W12 (Retained NABF Heavyweight Title) Jun 27 Jerry Quarry Las Vegas KO7 (retained NABF Heavweight title) Jul 19 Al Lewis Dublin KO11 Sep 20 Floyd Patterson New York KO7 (Retained NABF Heavyweight Title) 1973 Feb 14 Joe Bugner Las Vegas W12 Mar 31 Ken Norton San Diego L12 (Lost NABF Heavyweight Title) Sep 10 Ken Norton Los Angeles W12 (Regained NABF Heavyweight Title) Oct 21 Rudi Lubbers Jakarta, Indonesia W12 1974 Jan 28 Joe Frazier New York W12 (Retained NABF Heavyweight Title) Oct 30 George Foreman Kinshasa, Zaire KO8 (Won World Championship) 1975 Mar 24 Chuck Wepner Cleveland KO15 (Retained world championship) May 16 Ron Lyle Las Vegas KO11 (Retained world championship) Jun 30 Joe Bugner Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia W15 (Retained world championship) Sep 30 Joe Frazier Manila, Philippines KO14 (Retained world championship) 1976 20 Feb Jean Pierre Coopman San Juan, PR KO5 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 30 Apr Jimmy Young Landover, MD W15 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 24 May Richard Dunn Munich, Germany KO5 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 28 Sep Ken Norton New York W15 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 1977 16 May Alfredo Evangelista Landover, MD W 15 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 29 Sep Earnie Shavers New York, NY W 15 (Retained World Heavyweight Title) 1978 Feb 15 Leon Spinks Las Vegas L15 (Lost World Championship) Sep 15 Leon Spinks New Orleans W15 (Won World Championship) 1980 Oct 2 Larry Holmes Las Vegas KOby11 (For World Heavyweight Title) 1981 Dec 11 Trevor Berbick Nassau, Bahamas L10