Ali returned to the ring on September 15, 1978, looking conditioned and motivated. Over the course of 15 rounds, the improved Ali outboxed the youthful champion and became the first man to be named heavyweight world champion three times. The fight was awarded to Ali by unanimous decision.
Ali retained his titles with unanimous decisions over Larry Holmes (1978) and Leon Spinks (1979). He lost them when he refused to meet with George Foreman during an attempt to secure a fourth title bout (the two met before their third fight as champions in 1974).
After retiring for three years, Ali came back in 1981 and defeated veteran Joe Frazier for his third and final championship. This time around, the fight was for all the marbles: not only did Ali want to prove he was still the best boxer in the world, but he also wanted to show that he was alive and well after spending more than a year and a half in prison on un-related charges. The fight was scheduled for six rounds, but it went the full 12 because neither fighter wanted to yield. It was one of the most exciting fights of all time and proved once again that boxing is a sport where anything can happen at any time.
After defeating Frazier, Ali was ordered by the United States Army to go to Vietnam for several months at Fort Benning.
Ali was the first fighter to win the world heavyweight championship three times in a row, and he successfully defended it 19 times. In 1967, Muhammad Ali (right) fought Ernie Terrell. The fight was for the undisputed championship; if Ali won, he would be named champion for a fourth time. If Terrell won, it would be his third straight victory over Ali.
The fight took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was one of boxing's most important fights and an international event as well. Ali won by technical knockout in the ninth round. He had been cut over his eye from a previous punch but continued fighting. Terrell had several injuries but didn't stop fighting until the end. This is when the doctor stopped the fight for him.
After the victory, Ali said: "He kept asking me how long I wanted to be champion. I told him until I lost the title or died. Now we know how long - and that's forever."
In 1972, Ali fought Joe Frazier for the undisputed championship. Although this was not considered a title match because both men held two titles at the time, it is still regarded as one of the greatest fights in boxing history. The fight took place at Manila Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Boxer Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on September 15, 1978, to capture the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, becoming the first fighter to accomplish so. Ali resigned from boxing after his triumph, only to make a short comeback two years later. He died at age 74 in March 2016.
Ali won his first and second championships in 1964 and 1975, respectively, when he was still eligible to compete as a light-heavyweight. When he returned from retirement in 1980, he had already won his third belt. Although he held it for only nine months more, he will be remembered as one of the greatest champions in history.
As far as other boxers who have won the heavyweight title multiple times, there have been many over the years. Here are the others: George Foreman, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, Buster Douglas, Mike Tyson, and Roy Jones Jr.
The title is supreme. He also won heavyweight titles from other boxing organizations, making him the world's undisputed heavyweight champion. Despite the tougher competition, Tyson handled everyone with ease. He successfully defended his championship nine times, seven of them via knockout. His first defense was against Bruce Seldon in 1985. The fight went the distance but Tyson won by TKO in the tenth round.
Tyson's second fight was a rematch with Buster Mathis, which he won by KO in the third round. His third fight was a rematch with Larry Holmes, which he lost by TKO in the eighth round. This was because of a cut over his eye that was given time to heal before their fourth match up. It took place at Las Vegas Hilton and ended in a no contest when the two fighters were disqualified for hitting each other with chairs. From there on out, the number of defenses dropped down to four more.
In 1991, he made his return after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Since then, he has not fought again but has spoken about wanting to continue fighting into his 40s.
His record is now at 44-6 with 37 knockouts.
He has been married three times and has one son together with his first wife, Kiki. They divorced in 1992 after only six months of marriage. In 1994, he married Lisa Robinette.
Ali, Muhammad (56-5, 37 KOs) He is the only heavyweight to have held the lineal championship three times, and his 22 title match victories rank third all time.
He was born in Abbassid, Sudan and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Ali turned pro in 1964 at the age of 21 and immediately became one of the sport's biggest stars. In 1967 he took on former light heavyweight champion Leon Spinks in what is considered by many to be the greatest fight in boxing history. The bout for the world heavyweight championship was a trilogy that also included fights with Cleveland Williams and Larry Holmes. Ali won every round on all three cards to claim his first title.
In 1970 he fought another great fight against Joe Frazier for the undisputed championship. Although it was not an official title bout, most consider it to be a part of the trilogy with Spinks and Holmes because of its importance factor. Again Ali came out on top this time by unanimous decision.
In 1975 he returned from a four-year absence due to injury and marital problems and reclaimed his position as king of the sports world when he knocked out George Foreman in the tenth round of their match to become the new heavyweight champion.
He became the world heavyweight champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round, and he repeated the knockout the following year in defense of the belt; in the latter bout, he also became the inaugural WBC heavyweight champion. Liston's reign was short-lived, as Joe Louis regained his title by defeating him by technical decision in their rematch a few months later. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that it was a "no contest". The official record book states that Louis won by TKO in the ninth round. However, many experts believe that if there was no penalty time, then the fight should be ruled a draw. In any case, Liston retired after losing to Louis.
Liston came from an impoverished family in rural Tennessee and found work as a truck driver during the day and as a boxer at night. He started off as an amateur boxer and turned pro in January 1955. By 1958, he had compiled a record of 39-0 with 35 wins by KO/TKO. In that same year, he fought a series of matches against smaller, less experienced opponents who were favored by some journalists. They were known as "rubber matches" because Liston wore out his opponents without ever hurting them seriously. In 1959, he beat another unknown fighter named Chuck Wepner by KO in the eighth round to win the version of the world championship sponsored by the National Boxing Association (NBA).