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Muhammad Ali
Essex Lifestyle
July 16, 2020

“For me Ali was the Greatest”

Boxing fan – John Dickens comes from Essex and now resides in Ireland

 

My interest started with Muhammad Ali (known at the time as Cassius Clay).

The first fight I remember watching on TV was the clash with Henry Cooper, although I was only about 5 years old I was hooked the man had a colossal personality as well as standing out as a unique talent. I would imagine he brought more interest to the sport than any other boxer. How he enlightened me.

But I wouldn’t have understood at that age is that to be truly outstanding as a boxer (not just impressive and powerful) you need to be able to nullify the opposition’s strongest ability. In order to do this you firstly need to be able to out-think your opponent and also to be capable of putting your plan in to action. Few people over the years have had this ability and perhaps to a lesser degree than Ali…..Ray Leonard and later Floyd Mayweather junior spring to mind.  These characters impressed me more than the powerfully impressive George Foreman, Mike Tyson type of character who were undoubtedly fantastic in their own way but were also less capable of dealing with opponents varying styles. This is often viewed as a controversial outlook but I’ve always looked beyond the immediate expressiveness of the ‘knockout artist ‘

Muhammad Ali knockes out the powerfukl George Foreman in what came to be known as “The Rumble in the Jungle” on October 30th 1974

Ali proved during the Foreman fight that the smarter man if equipped with enough skills of his own would prevail.

Although it looked to everyone including myself that he had taken leave of his senses; such was his self-belief that to the rest of the world he had taken too big a chance (I often thought that if Ali wasn’t such a massive personality the referee could easily have stopped the fight). Ali had once again beaten the unbeatable as he had done earlier in his career against Sonny Liston.

I remember years later in an interview, George Foreman said he couldn’t speak about the fight for years because of the embarrassment he felt by the way he was beaten. ..there had certainly never been a previous character like Ali… The Greatest!

John Dickens

Mike Tyson admits that Ali would have beaten him 

In a virtual simulation run by the World Boxing Super Series, Tyson was victorious against the late, great Ali.

But while he was the eSports champ, Tyson, 53, has conceded that he could never have beaten Ali in a real bout.

“I know it’s a fantasy game. Most likely I would win the fantasy, I wouldn’t win the real fight.

“Ali’s the greatest there’s ever been.”

Ali, who passed away aged 74 in 2016, finished his glittering career with 56 wins and five defeats.

And the man dubbed “The Greatest” went on to become three-time lineal champion of his division.

Ali, born Cassius Clay, won the first 31 fights of his career – before losing to Joe Frazier.

He was to avenge that defeat three years later, when he defeated Frazier at Madison Square Garden.

Tyson, 24 years Ali’s junior, managed 50 wins and six losses.

He ruled as undisputed world heavyweight champion – and also won 12 of his fights by knocking his opponent out in the FIRST round.

Tyson now runs his own cannabis empire from California, where the drug has been legalised.

And he has also become a huge fan of UFC, even though he recently admitted that although it is “sexy”, its stars will never earn what top boxers do.

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