Friday, December 14, 2012

WHO WINS? Greatest Athlete vs GOAT (Jim Brown vs Muhammad Ali)

From time to time, people have always had fantasy matchups between fighters from different eras or even athletes from different sports taking on a fighter. Have you ever wondered how it would go down if there was really a fight between the Greatest Athlete vs the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)? More after the jump:

Jim Brown (L) and Muhammad Ali talk on a movie set (AP file photo)

Exhibit A:  Jim Brown

  • One of the greatest and most dominant players in NFL history
  • Generally regarded as the finest athlete of the 20th century 
  •  In college at Syracuse, he was a second-team All-American in basketball and a first-team All-American in lacrosse
  •  Possibly the best lacrosse player who ever lived
  • Known for his unmatched athleticism and legendary toughness
  •  Retired from his nine-year Hall of Fame NFL career in 1965 at the age of 29
  •  At 30 years of age, he wanted to get in the ring with then-heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali who was 24 and in his prime

Exhibit B:  Muhammad Ali

  • Boxed since he was 12 years old
  • He won 6 Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, 2 national Golden Gloves titles, and an Amateur Athletic Union National Title
  • Topping off his Amateur career, he won the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome
  • His amateur record:  100 wins with 5 losses
  • At the end of 1966, 24 year old Ali had fought for 6 years professionally
  • He was 27-0-0 with 7 KO’s, 15 TKO’s and 5 UD’s. He was the WBC and The Ring World Heavyweight Champion of the World (stripped of WBA title 6/19/64)
  •  Fought notables such as:  Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson and Archie Moore

Jim Brown introduced Bob Arum to Muhammad Ali. Brown entertained the idea of fighting Ali in the ring. Brown asked Arum to approach Ali about a possibility of a fight. Arum feeling indebted to Brown for introducing him to Ali, went to talk to Ali.

"So I went to talk to Ali," Arum recalls. "He says, 'Jim wants to do what? Bring him here.' So I took him to Hyde Park in London, where Ali used to run. Ali said, 'Jimmy, here's what we're going to do: You hit me as hard as you can.' So Brown starts swinging and swinging, and he can't hit him. He's swinging wildly and not even coming close. This goes on for, like, 30 seconds. Then Ali hits him with this quick one-two to his face. Jimmy just stops and says, 'OK, I get the point.'"

Reread this post again please. Let it all sink in. Jim Brown, who rushed past would-be tacklers that were some of the biggest, fastest and strongest athletes in the world during his Hall of Fame career, for thirty seconds really tried to nail and put down Muhammad Ali. Brown could not even touch Ali.

The Greatest Athlete never officially fought the Greatest of all Time in a ring in front of a paying audience... but one day back in 1966, in London, for a little over 30 seconds, the question of who would win between the Greatest Athlete and the GOAT was settled easily.




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