While continuing with my initially stated subject matter for this blog, I’ve decided to add another category to the mix. Acknowledging The All Time Greats posts will contain my picks for the individuals I believe to be the greatest of all times in their respective sports. Some will also be my all-time favorite, some will not. I will include stats and information that led me to, and justify, my choices. I expect, and invite, supporting and opposing feedback to my choices. So, let’s get started. First up is an obvious choice, and in this case also my favorite. The greatest boxer of all-time in my opinion is Muhammad Ali. As stated in my book, no fighter before or since has possessed the combination size, hand speed, and mobility demonstrated by Ali. Those things combined with his cat quick reflexes and granite chin made Ali the total package. The old adage that the best big man beats the best little man means Ali’s size eliminates the argument for non-heavyweights. Ali opponent Bob Foster supports this reasoning. Foster was a great fighter and the long reigning light-heavyweight king. But he was defeated by Ali and every other heavyweight contender he fought. He destroyed any and all light-heavyweights he took on as well as any lower weight fighters who tried to move up in weight to take his crown. But he couldn’t beat the big boys. I believe Ali’s size, speed and elusiveness would have been enough to beat Dempsey, Louis and Marciano. They are the ones most mentioned as Ali’s competition for the all-time greatest fighter. All three struggled, even in victory, against quick, elusive boxers who were not as talented as Ali. Ali took on some of the biggest punchers in his day and in history. He never failed to finish on his feet, even when his jaw was broken in the first round against Norton. In 56 wins he scored 37 knockouts and nineteen decision wins, meaning he stopped 2 out of every 3 proving he had better than average power in his punches. He avenged the 3 decision losses that went against him prior to his retiring as the only three-time heavyweight champion. Two of those, Norton and Frazier, he beat twice. That means upon his retirement as the three time heavyweight champ, Ali had conquered every opponent he faced as a professional. He defended his title nineteen times during his two reigns. There’s no telling how many more defenses would have been accumulated if 3 1/2 years from first reign as champ, in the middle of his prime, hadn’t been stolen away. One could argue that the first two comeback fights against Quarry and Bonavena were also defenses of the title the then still undefeated Ali never lost in the ring. In 1998, Ring magazine (known as “the bible” of boxing) rated him the greatest heavyweight of all-time. Ring also had previously named him the fighter of the decade for the seventies. In 1998, GQ magazine named him the Athlete of the Century. In 1999, SI named Ali Sportsman of the Century and the BBC named him Sports Personality of the Century. For all of the above, and so much more, Ali is my pick for the greatest boxer of all-time.