Muhammad Ali Talked About His Last Fight In Recent Years
Ali came back from retirement to fight Larry Holmes
AP – Muhammad Ali died Friday at age 74, according to a statement from the family. He was hospitalized in the Phoenix area with respiratory problems earlier this week, and his children had flown in from around the country.
A funeral will be held Wednesday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The city plans a memorial service Saturday.
How Muhammad Ali Got Brain Damage
LATIMES – Muhammad Ali suffered from Parkinson’s syndrome because of injuries to the brain he sustained during his 22-year boxing career, his doctor said Wednesday.
During his 61-bout career, the three-time heavyweight champion often boasted that his face was still pretty and unmarred by the head blows landed by Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes and others.
THE FIGHT THAT DAMAGED ALI THE MOST
AP – Ali retired, only to come back and try to win the title for a fourth time against Larry Holmes on Oct. 2, 1980, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Ali grew a mustache, pronounced himself “Dark Gable” and got down to a svelte 217 1/2 pounds to beat Father Time. But Holmes, his former sparring partner, mercifully toyed with him until Dundee refused to let Ali answer the bell for the 11th round.
“He was like a little baby after the first round,” Holmes said. “I was throwing punches and missing just for the hell of it. I kept saying, ‘Ali, why are you taking this?’
“He said, ‘Shut up and fight, I’m going to knock you out.'”
When the fight was over, Holmes and his wife went upstairs to pay their respects to Ali. In a darkened room, Holmes told Ali that he loved him.
“Then why did you whip my ass like that?” Ali replied.
A few years later, Ali said he would not have fought Holmes if he didn’t think he could have won.
“If I had known Holmes was going to whip me and damage my brain, I would not have fought him,” Ali said. “But losing to Holmes and being sick are not important in God’s world.”
It was that world that Ali retreated to, fighting just once more, losing a 10-round decision to Trevor Berbick in the Bahamas.
With his fourth wife, Lonnie, at his side, Ali traveled the world for Islam and other causes. In 1990, he went to Iraq on his own initiative to meet with Saddam Hussein and returned to the United States with 15 Americans who had been held hostage.
One of the hostages recounted meeting Ali in Thomas Hauser’s 1990 biography “Muhammad Ali — His Life and Times.”