Muhammad Ali’s recent death has opened the floodgates for eulogies, tributes, evaluations, historical perspective analyses, and writing of nearly every kind imaginable. This isn’t surprising; Ali was, by almost any reckoning, the most celebrated sports figure ever, and the one with by far the widest worldwide cultural…
Muhammad Ali had the most unsuccessfully imitated fighting style of all time. Even now, three and a half decades after his retirement, you can still find boxers making the mistake of trying to fight like him and getting their faces split open as a consequence. This is his most lasting contribution to the game.
There has long been chatter that Clay/Liston II, in which Sonny Liston went down to a phantom punch, wasn't on the up-and-up. But documents obtained by the Washington Times show the FBI suspected that their first fight, in 1964, may have been fixed by the mob.
Originally published on March 7, 1964, in The New Republic. Reprinted here with the permission of the author's family.
As keeper of Sports Illustrated's indispensable Vault, Andy Gray spends a lot of his time sifting through the sports photography of another time, when athletes wore short shorts and facial hair, and everyone looked vaguely uncomfortable. Here is one such photo.