The ’70s, for me, was the last great boxing decade and that was almost entirely due to Muhammad Ali.

My conception of what the pugilistic art is supposed to be is based, almost entirely, on that portion of Ali’s career. He wasn’t as young — he’d started boxing professionally a decade earlier —and maybe even not as strong (more TKOs than KOs), but that also meant he had to box with that glorious brain almost as much as he did with his fists.

I watched him invent rope-a-dope, a coverup move that forced his opponents to tire themselves out by repeatedly trying to box through Ali’s formidable forearms as he used them to cover his face. Like so much that Ali did back then, it was like something out of a movie about boxing — but it happened in real life; and I usually saw it all live, on television. Read more…

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Originally posted here: 

Muhammad Ali: When a legend is real