Muhammad Ali’s Five Greatest Wins
By Henry Walter
On this day in 1942, Muhammad Ali was born. To mark his birthday I thought I would go over what I believe are his five greatest wins:
1: George Foreman (40-0)
Ali overcame odds as high as 8-1, to defeat George Foreman and claim the heavyweight title for the second time. It remains one of the biggest upsets in boxing history and cemented Ali’s status as a boxing great.
2: Sonny Liston (35-1)
Ali surprised everyone by boxing rings round the then heavyweight champion. Liston had won his last three fights in the very first round and Ali, then Cassius Clay, was expected to be beaten in the same manner. The win forced the world to sit up and take notice of the brash new champion from Kentucky.
3: Joe Frazier (32-2)
The third fight between Ali and Frazier was viewed as a routine defence for Ali at the time. Frazier was thought to be shot and most expected an easy Ali win. The fight was brutal and savage as both fought with a frightening intensity in a fight that ebbed and flowed between both men. Ali emerged the winner, when the fight was stopped at the end of the fourteenth round, yet the win was probably the toughest of his career.
4: Joe Frazier (30-1)
Frazier had beaten Ali by decision in their epic 1971 super-fight, three years earlier. Frazier had then lost his world title to Foreman and Ali needed to beat him to get a shot at the new champion. Ali had learnt his lessons from the first fight and boxed beautifully to avenge the defeat.
5: Ken Norton (30-1)
Ali admitted that he hadn’t taken Norton seriously in their first fight, for the NABF title, earlier in the year. Norton had won that bout via a razor thin split decision. Ali came in far lighter for the rematch and returned the favour, scraping a close split decision to avenge his second career defeat.