ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Muhammad Ali: His Ten Biggest Ring Victories

Updated on June 2, 2014

The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17,1942. He won a Gold Medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics as a light heavyweight boxer. As a professional Ali won the heavyweight championship three times becoming the first in history to do so. Ali fought all comers in the golden era of heavyweight boxing. Below is a list of ten of his greatest triumphs inside the squared circle.

Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman

Muhammad Ali defied the odds and knocked Big George Foreman out in the 8th round the regain the heavyweight crown.
Muhammad Ali defied the odds and knocked Big George Foreman out in the 8th round the regain the heavyweight crown. | Source

The Skill and The Will

Muhammad Ali knocked out Smokin Joe Frazier in the 14th round of their rubber match.
Muhammad Ali knocked out Smokin Joe Frazier in the 14th round of their rubber match. | Source
Muhammad Ali beat Kenny Norton by 12 round decision in their second bout.
Muhammad Ali beat Kenny Norton by 12 round decision in their second bout. | Source
Muhammad Ali took some big shots from Earnie Shavwrs but ultimately he prevailed with his higher skill level.
Muhammad Ali took some big shots from Earnie Shavwrs but ultimately he prevailed with his higher skill level. | Source
Muhammad Ali is the only person to have ever knocked out top contender Oscar Bonavena.
Muhammad Ali is the only person to have ever knocked out top contender Oscar Bonavena. | Source
Muhammad Ali is seen here landing the right hand that began the end for Ron Lyle.
Muhammad Ali is seen here landing the right hand that began the end for Ron Lyle. | Source

Who?

Which win was Muhammad Ali's biggest?

See results

Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson 1

Muhammad Ali knocked out Floyd Patterson both times they met in the squared circle.
Muhammad Ali knocked out Floyd Patterson both times they met in the squared circle. | Source

Ali (DVD Movie)

Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston 1

Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston by T.K.O. to win the heavyweight championship at 22 years of age.
Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston by T.K.O. to win the heavyweight championship at 22 years of age. | Source

Muhammad Ali's Top Wins

1. Muhammad Ali K.O. 7 Sonny Liston (1964) Cassius Clay (Ali) entered the ing as a 7-1 underdog but it might as well have been 100-1 odds because everyone thought he was gonna get beat. Sonny Liston had won the title by knocking out Floyd Patterson in one round and then he defended it by knocking out Patterson again in only one round. Ali did not get intimidated he did the boasting. Ali landed constant jabs and strait, accurate rights Ashe floated away from Liston's lunging shots. Ali dominated this hall of fame boxer with ease which in retrospect is simply astonishing. After 7 rounds Liston had a swollen, bloody face and a torn shoulder so he quit. Liston's record going into the bout was 35-1.

2. Muhammad Ali K.O 8 George Foreman (1974) Ali was older and had losses to Joe Frazier and Kenny Norton on his record. Foreman won the heavyweight title by crushing Joe Frazier in two rounds with seven knock downs and defended it by knocking Ken Norton out cold in two heats. So what happens. Ali fights a close quarters bout and fights off the ropes and catches most of Big George's bombs on his arms and elbows. He uses distance sometimes though and lands nice,stiff jabs turning Foreman at times. Foreman was a big favorite and undefeated but Ali used guile, experience and more to become the only person to ever knockout this hall of fame prizefighter. Ali full of stamina knocks Foreman out in the 8th with a beautiful three punch combination that he landed while going backwards. Foreman's record entering thi match was 40-0.

3. Muhammad Ali K.O. 14 Joe Frazier (1975) Ali and Frazier had already fought two times splitting those bouts. The third and final fight featured great two way action. Ali won the early rounds by using his feints, footwork and superior jab. Frazier stormed back to batter Ali in the middle rounds. The last few rounds saw a resurrected Ali pound Frazier's eye closed and land constant combinations to Frazier's swollen face. Muhammad Ali proved that even past his prime he had enough to produce a legendary bout with Fraxier and then beat him up using everything he had to pull it off. This is considered one of the best heavyweight title fights in history. Ali had to dig deep as he looked out on his feet midway through the contest. Frazier entered this fight with a record of 32-2.

4. Muhammad Ali W12 Ken Norton (1973) Ali got his jaw broken and lost a close decision to the Mandingo Warrior the first time they met up but Ali avenged the defeat in another close, tactical battle. The difference was Ali had better conditioning the last three rounds to edge it out. Ali took several huge right hands during the bout but he also kept Norton's head bobbing up and down with a steady stream of jabs all night. Norton is a hard opponent for Ali but his jab and stamina raked out the renege win for The Greatest. Ken Norton knew how to make a hard time for Ali with his style but Ali avenged a loss with this close victory by using his brain more than anything else. Norton came into this bout with a resume reading 30-1.

5. Muhammad Ali W12 Joe Frazier (1974) This was the least exciting of their legendary three bout series but that was because it was somewhat one sided. Ali hurt Smokin Joe in round 2 with a right hand and from then on it seemed as if Frazier was just trying to recover or survive. Ali punched with speed and power as he landed jabs, right and even clean left hooks while Frazier landed sometimes but also hit the air a good amount . Ali used his brains meaning footwork, jab, angles and feints to easily dominate Frazier and avenge an earlier defeat. Frazier's record read 30-1 for this fight.

6. Muhammad Ali T.K.O. 12 Floyd Patterson (1965) Ali was the new champion and former champion Patterson had a good skill set. It was supposed to at least be a test but it was more like a lesson. A boxing lesson from Muhammad Ali. Patterson rarely landed more than a jab or a single right hand here and there. Ali landed at will with jabs, rights, hooks and uppercuts. This bout turned out to be an easy win for the champion and his great speed and reflexes can be thanked for that fact. Ali landed stinging shots the whole fight while Patterson usually was swinging at the air. Patterson carried a 43-4 record into the squared circle for this matchup.

7. Muhammad Ali W15 Earnie Shavers (1977) Ali put on a boxing display for five rounds but he began to slow down from thudding body blows landed by Shavers who is known as the hardest punching heavyweight in history by many experts. Shavers land huge left hooks and right hands in several rounds that appeared to hurt Ali. Shavers put up a great fight winning 4 or 5 rounds rather clearly but Ali started to time Shavers coming in by landing straight right hands. Ali was hurt a couple of times but he used his experience and skills to pull ahead over the last three or four rounds. Shavers brought a 54-5-1 record into the ring when he faced the amazing Ali.

8. Muhammad Ali T.K.O. 12 Jimmy Ellis (1971) For four rounds it was a close bout with every round up for grabs. Ali landed more shots but Ellis was landed the cleaner and flashier hooks. At the DVD of the fourth round Ali stood Ellis straight up with a crisp right hand that he did not see and it stunned him. Rounds five through twelve saw Ellis take a solid beating from Muhammad Ali. In the tenth and eke th rounds Ali started to tee off with lead rights and fast combinations. The 12th round was Ali's most dominate of the bout. He landed three and four punch combinations several times during the round. Finally, after Ellis stumbled from three of Ali's hardest shots the ref jumped in to save Ellis. Jimmy Ellis was 30-6 when he had his showdown with Ali.

9. Muhammad Ali T.K.O. 15 Oscar Bonavena (1970) Ali had only one match in over three years heading into this match and Bonavena has never been stopped in over 60 bouts. Bonavena showed heart and determination but Ali picked him apart with his superior speed and footwork. Ali never seemed to tire and his punch output increased as the fight wore on. In the 15th and final round Ali unleashed a brutal barrage of rights and lefts that floored Bonavena. Bonavena arose but Ali landed a four punch combo to put him down again. After an unsteady Oscar Bonavena got to his feet Ali landed a beautiful flurry to put Bonavena down and out. Bonavena carried a record of 46-6-1 into the ring with him when h challenged Muhammad Ali.

10. Muhammad Ali T.K.O. 11 Ron Lyle (1975) Ali was actually behind on the cards after five rounds of clowning and doing the rope a dope tactic which did not work at all on Lyle. Lyle did not land enough big shots but he did just enough to take an early lead. Ali stopped playing in the 6th round. From 6-11 Ali got on his toes and man handled the tough Ron Lyle like he was a newcomer to the sport. In the eleventh Ali tossed out a perfectly timed one-two and Lyle wobbled to the rope. Ali pounced and unloade his arsenal until the ref finally came to Lyle's rescue. Ron Lyle was 30-2-1 going into this title fight.

Muhammad Ali vs. Leon Spinks 2 (Honorable Mention)

Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in their rematch which gained Ali revenge and made him the first three time heavyweight champion in history.
Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in their rematch which gained Ali revenge and made him the first three time heavyweight champion in history. | Source

Muhammad Ali's Losses

Joe Frazier (1st Bout)
Ken Norton (1st Bout)
Trevor Berbick
Leon Spinks (1st Bout)
Larry Holmes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These five guys are the only ones to beat Ali as a professional. The Holmes and Berbick fights came when Ali was far past his peak.

Take a Loss, Comeback Even Better!

Muhammad Ali only lost twice during his prime and he avenged those losses twice! Joe Frazier beat him in a razor close bout to give Ali his first defeat. Ali beat Frazier twice in return bouts. Ken Norton also got a close decision win over Ali but Ali beat Norton twice in rematches.

Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston (1st Fight) Highlights

Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier (1st Fight) Highlights

Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman Highlights

© 2014 Buster Johnson

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      By far the most beautiful boxer - both inwardly and outwardly - that I have ever known. I was a fan from day one, as he was once the world's best known man. A total genius, charismatic, clever, witty and with an indomitable will and drum major for justice and Light.

      I met him in London many years ago, and again when he met my Guru, Sri Chinmoy. He was very gracious, a great human being, philanthropist and full of spirituality. His daughter, Khaliah, I believe, is equally nice. His Sportsman of the Century was thoroughly deserved.

      I will return to this article later and comment again. Thank you so much for writing it! I wanted to do so, to show his spiritual side. Alas! I was too busy and you beat me to it. I am so happy! God bless you for doing him justice. Peace!

    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 3 years ago from Alabama

      Thank you for your kind words my friend.

    • Royal Waldorf profile image

      Royal Waldorf 2 years ago from Chicago

      Nice work on the Greatest, let's hear more.

      However, the Liston (one) fight was over by the end of round two. Everyone saw that Liston was outclassed. Interesting that few people know that Liston's corner men put an abrasive on his gloves which blinded Clay. He told Angelo to cut the gloves off, but Ang would have no part of that and when the bell rang for round 3 Angelo literally pushed Clay to the center of the ring...this was Dundees 1st great service to Ali.

      #1, without question was Zaire...10.30.1974. A heavy underdog once again...he shocks the world and proves himself the GOAT. Not only is this Ali's greatest fight, it is the best athletic event in the history of mankind.

    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 2 years ago from Alabama

      In retrospect Big George is the best boxer Ali ever beat but when he fought Liston he was an underdog who really seemed like he was doomed. The best jabs I ever seen, including Larry Holmes, in a heavyweight bout was Ali pounding on Night Train's face.

    • Royal Waldorf profile image

      Royal Waldorf 2 years ago from Chicago

      7-1 vs. Liston

      4-1 vs. Foreman

      My point is that Ali gave us another miracle at age 32. Additionally, he claimed once again to be the Greatest and prior to the Zaire fight that..."the stage is now set for me to be recognized as the GOAT." He claimed IMMORTALITY w/the KO of Big George and that's the reason the Zaire affair is #1.

      Here's a little something for you and your audience...

      Liston, Frazier and Foreman were a combined 105 wins with 2 losses and 90 by KO b/4 they fought and lost to Ali. All were Heavyweight Champions and Ali was in charge of all from start to finish. He KO'ed all 3. This in spite of his 3 1/2 year exile. We never saw the "Best Ali."

      Lastly Leslie, what's obvious is that we love the Great Man. In your sharing of his life via Hub Pages articles it contributes to the deserved accolades of his legacy.

    • lesliebyars profile image
      Author

      Buster Johnson 2 years ago from Alabama

      Ali is easily the most famous fighter and best heavyweight ever.

    Click to Rate This Article