Speaking with Sports Illustrated on Saturday, Legendary ABC Wide World of Sports producer Doug Wilson called the relationship between Muhammad Ali and late sportscaster Howard Cosell “magical.”
“It was magical, it was chemical, it wasn’t anything they prepared to do,” Wilson said. “Their relationship was very interesting, because off-camera, they didn’t pal around or anything. They were in their own worlds. But they knew, when they got together, that the magic would happen.”
Cosell and Ali had countless memorable moments on television, with the legendary sportscaster inspiring some of the boxer’s greatest quotes.
• SI VAULT: Muhammad Ali remembered
Wilson recalled Cosell’s role in Ali’s name-change, editorializing the decision and taking a stand against unlawful practices.
Ali entered the hospital on June 2 to be treated for a respiratory issue. He died with his family at his side as his conditioned worsened. Born Cassius Clay, Ali was widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers of all time. His legacy in the ring and out, as a three-time heavyweight champion and powerful activist, made him one of the most iconic and well-known Americans ever.