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AP Photo/John Rooney

Muhammad Ali

1964-1970; 1974-78; 1978

Ali -- "The Greatest" -- is widely considered to be boxing's best ever and a transcendent athlete who is an icon and inspiration to the African American community.

Ali is the only heavyweight to win the lineal championship three times. He wrested the title from Sonny Liston in 1964, made nine defenses and retired. He returned to regain the title in 1974 against George Foreman in the classic "Rumble in the Jungle" in Zaire. After losing the belt to Leon Spinks in 1978 in Las Vegas, Ali exacted revenge in the rematch a year later in New Orleans, claiming a unanimous decision. Ali was also involved in one of the best fights in history: the "Thrilla in Manila" against Joe Frazier in 1975.