OnMarch8, 1971 Muhammad Ali fought the ‘Fight of the Century’ against Joe Frazier – and lost.
But in the rematch three years later, at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 1974, Ali beat Frazier. This victory set him up for the title fight against heavyweight champion George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, on October 30 of that year. Ali made history with ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’.
Muhammad Ali polarised opinion. Some say he was an arrogant sportsmen, often provoking and taunting his opponents; others a radical and anti-establishment icon who opposed the Vietnam War and fought for black rights in an America still struggling with segregation.
The exhibition ‘I Am The Greatest: Muhammad Ali’ looks back at his life. It’s on at the O2 in London. Here’s the legend below with his family, hanging out in Notting Hill and celebrating his win against Sonny Liston.
The winners of the 1960 Olympic medals for light heavyweight boxing on the winners’ podium at Rome. Muhammad Ali won gold; Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland (R), silver; and Giulio Saraudi (Italy) and Anthony Madigan (Australia), joint bronze.
American boxer Cassius Clay, later Muhammad Ali, in New York City, May 26, 1963
February 25, 1964: Sonny Liston sitting in his corner after his world heavyweight title defeat by Muhammad Ali at Miami Beach, Florida
February 25, 1964: Muhammad Ali, celebrates his win over Sonny Liston in their heavyweight title fight at Miami Beach, Florida. He won the contest, becoming world champion for the first time, when Liston failed to come out at the start of the seventh round
August 6, 1966: Muhammad Ali weighs in at the Odeon Leicester Square for the title fight with Brian London at Earl’s Court, London
May 15, 1966: Muhammad Ali at 34 Tavistock Crescent in Notting Hill, London. On his right is Rhaune Laslett, who was instrumental in organising the Notting Hill Carnival, and whose house this is. On the left, with a camera, is Ali’s photographer Howard Bingham
May 15, 1966: Muhammad Ali visits a children’s home in Notting Hill, London
May 17, 1966: Muhammad Ali meets 8-month-old Maria Morin in a training session at the Territorial Army Gymnasium at White City, London. Ali is in training for his fight against the British champion Henry Cooper at Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium, London on May 21
Muhammad Ali in his hotel bedroom with members of his entourage on February 15, 1967
March 8, 1971: In a title fight at Madison Square Gardens, New York, Muhammad Ali goes down in the 15th round to a left hook from world heavyweight champion Joe Frazier who kept the title with an unanimous points win. Cameramen are crowded round the ring
December 19, 1978: Muhammad Ali with his daughters Laila (9 months) and Hanna (2 years 5 months) at Grosvenor House