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Five fights that made Muhammad Ali the greatest


Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at 74, is widely considered one of the greatest boxers off all time. After defeating Zbigniew Pietrzykowski for the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Ali would win 56 of his 61 professional bouts — 37 by knockout.

According to rankings at BoxRec, an independent site that catalogs and ranks more than 1.8 million fights, Ali was indeed “the Greatest” heavyweight to ever live. His 2,076 points, which are earned depending on a boxer’s opponent and outcome, are 228 more than second-place Evander Holyfield.

In his first professional bout, Ali won all six rounds against a 30-year-old Tunney Hunsaker at Freedom Hall in Kentucky, but that only started his journey to becoming a boxing legend. Here are the five fights that made him “the Greatest,” ranked in order of which bouts increased his ranking the most.

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