(WWLP) – The world of Boxing and the cause of civil rights have lost a champion. Muhhamad Ali is dead at the age of 74 from the effects of Parkinson’s disease and respiratory failure.
22News looked at the spectacular career of the fighter known as “the greatest.” He was Cassius Clay back then, the brash young Olympic champion who confounded the experts by easily defeating Sonny Liston, to become the heavyweight champion of the world in 1964 at the age of 22. Immediately following his upset victory, Clay would forever be known as Muhamad Ali
Many boxing matches have been hyped as the fight of the century, But Ali’s losing effort against Joe Frazier in 1971 can truly be called the fight of the century. They would fight twice more, Ali victorious in both meetings, including their legendary Thrilla in Manilla.
But it was Ali’s surprising knockout of George Foreman in 1975 that many believe was the height of Ali’s storied career. Bigger stronger and years younger, Foreman the overwhelming favorite, was outboxed and out maneuvered by the older man. When Foreman finally took the count of ten in the African nation of Zaire in what forever will be known as “the rumble in the Jungle”, Ali’s legend grew again to colossal proportions.
He continued fighting on into the 1980s, but Ali’s ring exploits in the 1960s and ’70s cemented his legacy as perhaps the greatest of all heavyweight boxing champions.