Muhammad Ali is undoubtedly, one of the greatest prize fighters in history. As talented as he was in the ring, he was equally adept on the microphone. The man was part gladiator, part poet, and one of the greatest athletes of all-time. Today, we look at the ALL-TIME BEST 10 MUHAMMAD ALI FIGHTS!
10. Floyd Patterson (1965)
Ali’s first title defense after the rematch with Sonny Liston. Patterson was an outstanding fighter a decade earlier, but Ali was just too much, stopping Floyd in the 12th round.
9. Ken Norton (1973)
Norton was the underdog, but was able score a split decision win over Ali. This was only Ali’s second loss and Norton showed amazing heart and guts to snag the win. Later that year, Ali would avenge the loss with a split decision win of his own.
8. Leon Spinks II (1978)
It was a major surprise when Leon Spinks upset Ali in early-1978. Ali got a rematch later that year, grinding out a tough unanimous decision win. The great Ali was finally beginning to show his age.
7. Sonny Liston II (1965)
There was a lot of controversy surrounding the Clay (Ali)/Liston rematch. Many had speculated that the first fight had been fixed and that Liston would destroy Ali in the rematch. Again, Ali proved the doubters wrong as he floored Liston two minutes into the first round for a KO, leading to one of the most famous images in sports history.
6. Chuck Wepner (1975)
This fight was the inspiration for Rocky. Wepner was a tough, rugged fighter, but Ali was the massive favorite. Wepner hung tough, frustrating Ali regularly. Ultimately though, the champ scored a 15th round stoppage.
5. Sonny Liston I (1964)
Ali, then Cassius Clay, was a heavy underdog to the imposing and bruising champ, Sonny Liston. If his in ring brutality wasn’t intimidating enough, Sonny was rumored to be an enforcer for the mafia. Ali’s speed and athleticism was far too much for Liston, with Muhammad becoming the world champion after a 7th round stoppage.
4. Joe Frazier I (1971)
This epic showdown and first chapter in a monumental trilogy was billed “The Fight of the Century.” Frazier, while rather small, hit like a man twice his size. He got the best of Muhammad that night, scoring a unanimous decision win and handing Ali his first ever loss.
3. Joe Frazier II (1974)
An epic rematch between two heated rivals. Ali took this one by unanimous decision, but many who watched the fight believed that Frazier had won. Ultimately, this led to the their third fight a year later, which would prove to be the best of the three.
2. George Foreman (1974)
The legendary “Rumble in the Jungle.” Ali was a heavy underdog facing off against the seemingly unbeatable George Foreman. I still contend that, if they had fought 10 times, Ali might have won one. Well, this was the one out of ten, as Ali mentally dismantled and physically outlasted Foreman for an 8th round KO. An impossible result, no one could imagine, was reality.
1. Joe Frazier III (1975)
One of the most brutal fights in the history of boxing and the rubber match of the greatest rivalry in the sweet science. The “Thrilla in Manilla” was exactly that, with each fighter taking an enormous beating. Neither would ever be the same again, but Ali would stop Frazier in the penultimate round.
Tomorrow, the ALL-TIME BEST 10 WIMBLEDON MATCHES!