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MMA Boxing

5 Reasons Why Muhammad Ali is the Greatest Boxer of All Time

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5 Reasons Why Muhammad Ali is the Greatest Boxer of All Time

Muhammad Ali
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Imagine this: You are standing with an opponent on the other side of you, both dressed for competition in front of an riveted live audience and millions watching at home. Up to this point, it might sound like a boxing match, until Steve Harvey says "we asked 100 people to name a boxer." The overwhelming answer would be "Muhammad Ali." Not because he fights in the present, but because he resonates unlike any athlete in any other sport as the best.

5. The Suspended Years

Muhammad Ali 4
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5. The Suspended Years

Muhammad Ali
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When Ali refused to answer the call for duty with the U.S. Armed Forces in April 1967, citing religious reasons, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing license and took away his WBC, WBA and The Ring Heavyweight belts. In an unwritten rule in boxing, all other commissions respected New York's decision and Ali, then 25, did not fight again for two and half years, missing the prime of his career.

4. Most Popular Fighter Ever

Muhammad Ali
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4. Most Popular Fighter Ever

Muhammad Ali 6
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Who would have thought that with Ali's brash mouth, his transition to the Nation of Islam and his refusal to serve in the United States Army in Vietnam that he would become the cherished boxer he was? After his hiatus, his charisma and bravado returned, as well as a winning record in the ring. Those features turned Ali not into the most beloved boxer ever, but the most beloved athlete in history.

3. Best Fighter of the "Golden Era"

Muhammad Ali
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3. Best Fighter of the "Golden Era"

Muhammad Ali
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The 1960s and 70s were a time in the sport unlike any other, when the biggest fights were televised without pay-per-view, the heavyweight class was paramount and when the best 200-plus-pounders all took cracks at one another. And Ali was at the forefront of it, taking place in many of the most epic fights in boxing history, like "The Fight of the Century," "The Rumble in the Jungle" and, best of all, "The Thrilla in Manila."

2. Beat Many of History's Best Heavyweights

Muhammad Ali
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2. Beat Many of History's Best Heavyweights

Muhammad Ali
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Ali fought seven fighters who had careers worthy of the Boxing Hall of Fame, compiling an 11-3-0 record with eight knockouts. The Lip beat six, including Archie Moore, Sonny Liston (twice), Floyd Patterson (twice), Bob Foster, Ken Norton (twice), Joe Frazier (twice) and George Foreman. The three losses Ali took against the enshrined were a unanimous decision loss to Frazier, a split-decision loss to Norton and 10th-round TKO to Larry Holmes.

1. "The Greatest"

Muhammad Ali
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1. "The Greatest"

Muhammad Ali
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It's not just a cocky, self-absorbing nickname christened by the flamboyant champ himself. "The Greatest" is actually the truth, for Ali was not just a part of the best era ever, the best trilogy in history (with "Smokin'" Joe Frazier) and some of the greatest upsets in boxing (over Sonny Liston and George Foreman). Muhammad Ali also had some of the best hands, jabs, chin and footwork of all time. He is quite simply "The Greatest."