Today, the world in general and boxing, particularly, celebrate the eighty-first birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali. There’s still a legion of admirers in awe of the man who broke all the conventions of modern boxing.
His journey began at twelve. It took him to Rome as an amateur, where he won the gold during the 1960 summer Olympics. Returning home, he changed gears and went professional by the year-end. Four years later, he won the WBA, WBC, NYSAC, and The Ring heavyweight titles after sending Sonny Liston to the canvas. In 1966, Muhammad Ali was found guilty of draft evasion after refusing to serve in the military during the ongoing Vietnam War. As a result, his boxing titles were taken away. Even though the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971, he missed out on four years of his athletic prime.
He barely turned twenty-nine when he lost his first fight to Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Many consider the 70s as when Muhammad Ali, in his thirties, was on a downward spiral. Four of the five career losses he suffered occurred during that decade. However, what many miss out on is that it was during that phase that he ousted a tough boxer like George Foreman in 1974 to win the WBC, WBA, and The Ring titles again. And he retained the titles for the next three years!
The final knockout in West Germany!
Some two years after the feat, he was challenged by an obscure Englishman. However, the fight against Robert Dunn in Munich, West Germany, on May 24, 1976, entered records for an altogether different reason.
Through its Facebook page, legendary promoter Bob Arum’s ‘Top Rank Boxing’ shared an old video of the Muhammad Ali – Robert Dunn fight. After all, it was the last knockout win for “The Greatest.”
And fans couldn’t have asked for more and didn’t waste time reacting to the clip.
Muhammad Ali was ‘the best’; after all
Per one user, Muhammad Ali passed his heyday but remained excellent. He added, everyone should look at his bouts between the years “64- 75.” In particular, before the “3.5-year” hiatus. He was unique, unparalleled.
Another user compared him to Michael Jordan, arguably two of the most iconic figures in sports history. Both guys surpassed their respective sports in indelible ways.
For one user, Muhammad Ali was the man who truly revolutionized boxing, “the best the greatest of all times.”
For one, he was both an entertainer and a boxer. But Muhammed Ali was a sight to behold.
A user concluded that since he was already the “greatest”, there was barely any need to demand respect.
The way Muhammad Ali fought was far more unorthodox and superior to how others used to strike in those days. For instance, during the Robert Dunn fight, Taekwondo Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee was the head trainer. The Korean martial arts guru taught Muhammad Ali the knockout strike he used against Dunn.
Incidentally, the former learned that punch from Bruce Lee and dubbed it the “Accupunch.”
Many look back on “The Greatest” with fondness and respect for the social and cultural impact he had. However, there are still others who remember him for the unparalleled prowess he displayed in the ring.
What is your opinion on Muhammad Ali’s last knockout victory? Which is your favorite Muhammad Ali fight? Do share with us in the comments below.