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On this day 60 years ago: Muhammad Ali shows first flash of greatness vs. Herb Siler

Muhammad Ali

By Abu Mahmood: On the 27th of December 1960, exactly 60 years ago today, Muhammad Ali (then going by Cassius Clay) fought Herb Siler (16-12-0 7 KOs) in his second professional bout. Ali (56-5-0 37 KOs) had won his first fight against Tunney Hunsaker (17-15-1 8 KOs) with a unanimous decision.

An unknown Ali showcased the skills that would make him one of the greatest of all time. Showing those skills that would one day have many people in awe, he entertained the crowd at the Municipal auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida. Ali at the time, was 18 years old and was relatively unknown.

Siler, who was 1-1 at this point in his career put up a good fight but did not manage to ask any questions of Ali. Ali managed to stop Siler within the first minute of the 4th round which had the crowd cheering. Siler was the first knockout victim of Ali. There would be 36 more.

Ali went on to become one of the world’s finest boxers defeating world champions and future world champions in his path.
George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell, Jimmy Ellis, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, and Leon Spinks are some of the people Ali beat in his long and storied career. Granted, he did lose to Spinks, Frazier and Norton but he came back to beat all three men, even having one of the most famous trilogies of all time with Frazier.

Ali would go on to become a 3-time heavyweight champion and would finally retire after back to back losses to future champions Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.

Herb Siler would go on to fight for the Florida Heavyweight title, a fight he would lose by TKO. Herb did fight Ernie Terrel twice in his career losing the first via points decision and losing via TKO in the second. Herb retired with a record of (16-12-0 7 KOs). Siler’s career only lasted 7 years from 1960 until 1967. After that, Herb was imprisoned in 1970 for 7 years for manslaughter.

Regardless of where both men’s careers went after that night, a star was born in the Municipal Auditorium in Miami. Muhammad Ali would go on to become one of the greatest of all time, if not the greatest of all time.

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