Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Victory Was Not in the Ring!

By Ken Hissner: As a writer I have written approximately a dozen articles on former world heavyweight champion Muhammad ‘I’m the Greatest’ Ali.

Ali was known for several victories like winning the Olympic Gold Medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics in the light heavyweight division.

When he defeated then world champion Sonny Liston stopping him to become the world champion may have been his biggest victory in the ring in February of 1965 a big underdog! Ali was 19-0 and Liston 35-1 at the time.

Ali had to come off the canvas on two occasions. The first was against Sonny Banks, 10-2, in February of 1962 at New York’s Madison Square Garden in the first round. He came back to stop Banks in the fourth round.

The other time was against Henry Cooper, 27-8-1, in June of 1963 in London, UK, in the fourth round. Ali would go onto stop Cooper in the next round on cuts.

YouTube video

Ali would defeat Leon Spinks, 7-0-1, in September of 1978 in their rematch what Spinks won by split decision in February losing his title.

After winning the rematch his cut man Ferdie Pacheco told Ali “I will not work your corner again and you should not fight again!” Ferdie didn’t in Ali’s next two fights losses to Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes, 35-0 and Trevor Berbick, 19-2-1.

These are some of his major accomplishment in victory but his biggest came in 1990 in his “goodwill tour” to Baghdad. He was heavily criticized by the American government but convinced Saddam Hussein to release 15 American hostages in the run up to the Gulf War.

At the time he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease for six years. He was attending a meeting in Baghdad despite his frequent inability to speak clearly.

That not the 56 wins and 37 by stoppage but his getting the release of 15 American hostages!

I welcome all comments on whether you liked or didn’t like Muhammad Ali!