Muhammad Ali vs. George Chuvalo

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Sports Illustrated Cover

1966-03-29 : Muhammad Ali 214½ lbs beat George Chuvalo 216 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15

  • World Heavyweight Title (3rd defense by Ali)
  • Fight Photo


  • Ali was scheduled to fight Ernie Terrell in Chicago on March 29, 1966. Shortly before the fight, Ali's draft classification was changed from 1-Y to 1-A, making him eligible for the draft. Ali created a huge uproar by famously saying, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong." Ali was called before the Illinois State Athletic Commission to apologize for his "unpatriotic remarks." Ali appeared before the commission but refused to apologize. The fight was canceled after the State Attorney General declared the bout "illegal." [1]
  • Bob Arum, who had just started his first promotion company, Main Bout, was going to promote Ali-Terrell. Arum said, "I ran around the country without any luck looking for a state where we could have the fight. Finally, I took it to Montreal and then it was Toronto and then Terrell pulled out and we wound up with Ali-Chuvalo." It was the first fight Arum ever promoted. [2]
  • 13,540 fans attended the fight. "The gate for the fight was $120,000," Arum said. "We got $40,000 more for closed-circuit revenues, and $20,000 for foreign rights. Of that $180,000 take, Ali got $90,000, Chuvalo got $35,000 to $40,000. Out of what was left, I paid expenses and my credit card. There was no profit." [3]
  • Ali was ringside when Chuvalo defeated Mike DeJohn in Louisville in 1963. In the second round, DeJohn went through the ropes as Chuvalo continued to hammer him with both hands. Ali thought Chuvalo's attack resembled a woman watching clothes on a scrub board and gave him the nickname "The Washerwoman." [4]
  • Chuvalo was only given 17 days notice to prepare for the fight of his life.