A Brief Look Back On The Amateur & Pro Career Of Ali!

A Brief Look Back On The Amateur & Pro Career Of Ali!

There have been several amateur records of Ali’s career, such as 100-5, 118-5, 127-5, 134-7, 137-7, 137-3, and 99-8.

Boxrec shows 70-6 of his amateur bouts. I knew he lost to future world champion also from Louisville, Jimmy Ellis, splitting in two bouts. He also lost to southpaw Amos Johnson.

I knew he was stopped by Kent Green while box rec shows he was also stopped by a cut against Terry Hodge. In the heavyweight Olympic trials, he lost to Percy Price, a Marine from Salem, NJ. Then was able to compete at the light heavyweight trials, winning in order to enter the Olympics in 1960 in Rome, Italy, where he won the Gold Medal as Cassius Clay.

Ali started his pro career by beating up a cop named Tunney Hunsaker, 17-9-1, over six rounds. In his eleventh straight win, he came off the canvas in the first round to drop his opponent, Sonny Banks, 10-2, in the second round and stop him in the fourth round. In his fourteenth win, he defeated Billy Daniels 16-0.

Two fights later, Ali defeated the “Old Mongoose” former light heavy champ Archie Moore, 185-22-10, with a record 132 knockouts, dropping him three times in round four to match his prediction “Moore in four!” In his eighteenth fight, a tough one, he defeated Doug Jones, 21-3-1, who in his two previous fights defeated by stoppage future world light heavy champ Bob Foster, 9-0, and a future Ali opponent as a pro, Zora Folley, 59-5-2. Ali on two cards, won 5-4 and 8-1.

In Ali’s next fight, he came off the canvas in London in the fourth round against Henry Cooper, 27-8-1. If memory serves me right between rounds, his trainer, Angelo Dundee, cut his glove, giving him time to recover by getting a new glove.

In Ali’s twenty-sixth win, stopping in 12 rounds, German southpaw Karl Mildenberger, 49-2-3, in Germany. In his next fight, one of his most impressive, he stopped Cleveland “Big Cat” Wiliams, 69-5-2, in 3 rounds.

In March of 1967, in Ali’s final fight before the New York Commission took away his license to fight, Ali stopped Zora Folley, 74-7-4. Though being in the US Army at the time, I felt the decision was unfair though he refused induction into the US Army.

After an absence of three years from the ring, he got in the gym against Jeff “Candy Slim” Merrit, 13-1, claiming, “If I can do well with Merrit, then I know I still have what it takes to start my comeback (his words per my memory). Only thing was the once illusive Ali would be able to be hit more than ever in his past career.

In Ali’s comeback, he stopped Jerry Quarry, 37-4, on a cut and then gave Argentina’s Oscar Bonavena, 46-6-1, his only stoppage in the fifteenth and final round.

Next was Ali’s first loss to “Smokin” Joe Frazier, 26-0, being dropped in the final round losing by decision with his record dropping to 31-1. He would defeat Frazier in their next two fights titled “Rumble in the Jungle” and “Thrilla in Manila!” Same after a loss to Ken Norton, 29-1, by split decision after suffering a broken jaw early in the fight, he would go on to defeat Norton twice.

In October of 1974, Ali was the first in his division, if memory serves me right the first winning the title for the third time. He introduced the “rope-a-dope!” It would eventually lead to him taking more punishment, which I am sure led to having Parkinson’s later in his career.

After losing to 1976 Olympic Gold Medalist Leon Spinks, 6-0-1, by split decision, he won the rematch, regaining the WBA title when his cut man Ferdie Pacheco stopped working Ali’s corner and advised him to do the same.

Unfortunately, he didn’t take that advice to go on losing his final two fights to WBC champion Larry “Easton Assassin” Holmes, 35-0, being his only stoppage, and Trevor Berbick, 19-2-1, which was his final fight.

That was going from 31-0, losing to Frazier, ending at 56-5, or 25-5. Ali, without a doubt, was the “most colorful boxer” in the heavyweight division in his prime after defeating Folley.

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