He wasn't the strongest fighter who ever lived, not physically. Most of Ali's knockouts came from an accumulation of punches.
You could argue he was the toughest fighter ever. After having his jaw broken by Kenny Norton in the first round, Ali went eleven more rounds and lost the fight by unanimous decision. Going eleven rounds with a broken jaw against a mauler like Norton, that alone could qualify you for the BA Hall of Fame, but Ali also went a round against Sonny Liston in which he was blind.
He wasn't the nicest fighter. To this day, whenever I watch the "Thrilla in Manila," that fourteen-round colossus, I cheer for Frazier. Ali wounded him more deeply before the fight than he ever did in the ring.
But Muhammad Ali was the greatest man who ever laced up a boxing glove. His biggest fights weren't against other boxers, they were against prejudice and oppression.
I'll miss you, Champ. The world isn't the same without you in it.
SIMPLY THE GREATEST
January 17, 1942
June 3, 2016