When we think of boxing, several athletes who represent the sport as a whole come to mind. Whether it’s fighters with baffling statistics or world champions with undefeated streaks, it seems like legends make their start every year.
To this day, few have made as great an impact as Muhammad Ali. In fact, he’ll still be the greatest of all time to many who love boxing. Here are five Muhammad Ali facts that prove why he’s still the GOAT.
He Had Unparalleled Speed
Muhammad Ali was known for his overall speed and agility, especially when he first set foot in the ring. His fighting style involved outpacing his opponent and taking jabs when openings revealed themselves. At the time, this was a stark contrast from other fighters who would try to overpower with a flurry of powerful punches. Ali brought a new perspective to the sport, one that will live eternally in his iconic saying, “Float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee.”
First To Win the Heavyweight Title Three Times
It’s important to note that Ali was the first boxer to win the heavyweight title three separate times. While many fighters carried this title before he graced the ring, Ali was the first to obtain it on three occasions. His impressive winning streak, combined with his knack for taking on champions, captivated the public and made him unforgettable.
He Toppled Undefeated Giants
Another Muhammad Ali fact that proves he’s still the GOAT is he ended the undefeated streaks of other world-renowned boxers. Few can claim they’ve toppled other legendary boxers, and Ali has come out on top against the very best. At the time of their fight, George Foreman had never lost a match. He had a reputation for being unbeatable among almost everyone in the business. So, his fight against Ali was one of the largest upsets in boxing history.
He Gave New Meaning to Being a World Champion
Believe it or not, it was uncommon for world champions to travel the world with their title. Rather, they’d root themselves in their home city and continue boxing there until directly challenged. Ali constantly sought to challenge and improve himself, routinely traveling to other countries and fighting their top boxers to defend his title.
He Was the People’s Champion
Above all, Muhammad Ali was a champion for the people and demonstrated himself through his Civil Rights and anti-war efforts. Even upon losing his title and being unable to box, he always made time for his fans and spoke out for what he felt was right. These traits made him more than a talented athlete to the public. He was their hero.
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