After a decades-long fight with Parkinson’s disease, legendary heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali died Friday night at the age of 74.
In one of the most iconic sport images of all time, we see a triumphant Ali returning to his corner after dealing a devastating knockout blow to Cleveland Williams in the third round of their 1966 bout.
- Neil Leifer
As in the photo, the two fighters, Ali and Williams, were symmetrical leading up to the bout. Both stood at 6 feet 3 inches, with Williams having a slight advantage in weight and possibly power, but Ali maintaining an important hand- and foot-speed advantage.
At the moment the picture was snapped, the fighters were posed in much the same way, with the important distinction being that Williams was dazed on his back after being counted out, and Ali was standing tall and facing a cheering crowd.
Here’s a clip from the fight: