Ring Magazine names Muhammad Ali “Fighter of the Year” a half century after he was denied the honor because of his stand against the Vietnam War and his affiliation with the Nation of Islam.
By Michael Rosenthal
Muhammad Ali was the best fighter of 1966, as he went 5-0 (with four knockouts) in defense of his heavyweight title. That included a third-round KO of Cleveland Williams, when Ali might’ve been at his very best.
The editors of THE RING Magazine at the time acknowledged Ali’s preeminence that year, stating clearly that no one could touch him.
However, they made an unusual decision when it came time to name the magazine’s annual Fighter of the Year: They announced that Ali would be denied the award because of his refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army and his association with the Nation of Islam.
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