Muhammad Ali Turns 70
Muhammad Ali turned 70 today (Jan. 17) and recently posed for SI at his Las Vegas home.
Ali, shown here with wife Lonnie, fought Frazier for the heavyweight crown at Madison Square Garden in March 1971. Ali lost the so-called "Fight of the Century" in 15 rounds, but would beat Frazier in their subsequent two bouts.
Ali -- then known as Cassius Clay -- won his first title in 1964, defeating the heavily favored Sonny Liston when Liston failed to answer the bell for the seventh round. .
Ali was stripped of the heavyweight crown in 1967, when he was arrested for refusing induction to the armed services after being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Ali, who declared himself a conscientious objector to the war on religious grounds, didn't box for three years after his arrest.
Ali returned to the ring in 1970, defeating Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena to pave the way for his first title fight against Joe Frazier.
Ali regained the title in 1974, using his famous "rope-a-dope" strategy to defeat George Foreman in "The Rumble in the Jungle" in Kinshasa, Zaire.
Ali's third and final fight against Frazier came in 1975, when he retained his title by beating Smokin' Joe in the "Thrilla in Manila." He lost the title to Leon Spinks in 1978, but won it back in a rematch fought later that year. The Greatest of All Time retired for good in 1981.
Ali -- who, despite having Parkinson's disease, remains active in humanitarian causes -- was named SI's Sportsman of the 20th Century in 1999.