NewsNews

He really was boxing's finest

NewsBy Jimmy Magee
Jimmy with the Champ
Jimmy with the Champ

Self-styled as ‘The Greatest’ in his boxing days, is there anyone now, at the time of his death, who doubts that Muhammad Ali was indeed the greatest boxer there has ever been.

The famed Sports Illustrated magazine went further when, in their December 1999 edition, they anointed him ‘The Greatest Sportsperson of the 20th Century’, ahead of Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Michael Jordan, Pele, and Mark Spitz.

Muhammad Ali had it all: class, stamina, skill, a huge punch, and a wonderful bravura style with his fans that got people involved in the sport. 

But there were two aspects of the art of boxing in which Ali was supreme.

They were hand speed and foot speed. I’ve never seen a heavyweight as fast with either. One meant he could hit you, the other meant he couldn’t be hit.

He was truly the complete package. Never say never in sport, but I doubt if we will ever again see a champion with those two wonderful attributes.

READ THE REST OF JIMMY’S EXCLUSIVE STORY ON THE CHAMP ONLY IN THIS WEEKEND’S SUNDAY WORLD