Muhammad Ali vs. Cleveland Williams

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1966-11-14 : Muhammad Ali 212¾ lbs beat Cleveland Williams 210½ lbs by TKO at 1:08 in round 3 of 15


  • The fight was shown on closed circuit television at 125 locations in the United States
  • The fight was seen, either directly or on delayed tape, in 46 foreign countries.
  • There were 35,460 fans at the Astrodome, which was the largest crowd ever to see an indoor boxing match at that time.
  • The gross gate was $461,290.
  • Ali got 50% of the live gate and 50% of the ancillary rights, including closed circuit TV and radio. Williams got 20% of the live gate and 14% of the ancillary rights. The remainder was divided among the Astrodome and the promoter.
  • Ali was a 5 to 1 favorite.
  • "The Ali Shuffle" was introduced during this fight.
  • Williams was knocked down three times in the second round and once in the third.
  • Many consider this to be Ali's best performance. Broadcaster Howard Cosell told author Thomas Hauser: "The greatest Ali ever was as a fighter was against Williams. That night, he was the most devastating fighter who ever lived."
  • Mike Tyson, in an interview with Arsenio Hall, said this was his favorite Ali fight. "It's Ali at his best," Tyson said.
  • The Ring: Boxing The 20th Century stated: "Ali's jab had never been as blinding; his feet had never seemed so light; his combinations had never flowed so effortlessly. At age 24, he was 27-0 (22), and peaking. It was time to freeze the moment for the time capsule."

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