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Boxing's Best Fought on Wide World

Muhammad Ali was one of the most influential athletes ever to appear on ABC's Wide World of Sports.
The battles that Muhammad Ali fought on Wide World are legendary. In 1967, Ali declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to be drafted by the United States Armed Forces. As a result, he was stripped of his World Heavyweight title, ridiculed by the press and prosecuted by the government.

Ironically, it was a former lawyer and World War II veteran turned sports broadcaster named Howard Cosell who publicly backed Ali's position.

This was just the beginning for Ali, as he moved from being simply a boxer to a legend that influenced the career of Sugar Ray Leonard and others.

  • Wide World memorable knockouts
  • Tale of the Tape | More on Ali
  • Angelo Dundee: No similarities between Ali and Sugar Ray
  • SportsCentury: Simply the Greatest

    Sugar Ray, the sweet science
    A young man from the city of Palmer Park, Md., won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and erupted onto the scene to help bridge the gap between Muhammad Ali and today's boxers. Just like Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard fought the best to be the best. Sugar Ray fought wars against Roberto Duran, "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler and Thomas "Hitman" Hearns to earn his respected place in Wide World and boxing history.

  • Leonard: Duran taught the art of psychological warfare
  • Leonard: Early beginnings | Hagler | Hearns
  • Dundee: Duran brought out the best in Ray

  • The first Ali-Frazier fight transcended sport
  • Halberstam: Ali wins another fight
  • Chat wrap: Joe Frazier
  • Page 2: Ali casting call
  • ESPN boxing coverage

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    Wide World's constant variety of sport

    The best of Wide World's figure skating

    The best of Wide World horse racing

    Wide World of Sports Events

    Wide World of Sports Athletes of the Year

     Muhammad Ali regains the world title by defeating George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire.
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     Muhammad Ali
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     The Wide World of Sports classic introduction from 1978.
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