“I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”
— Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest.”
Everyone knows that, but there’s something that seems to be lost in the deification of the morn born Cassius Clay: he wasn’t unbeatable.
Ali actually lost five times in his career, and while three of those defeats can be overlooked since they happened in his final four fights, when he was old and feeble, two occurred in the midst of his prime. He lost the “Fight of the Century” by unanimous decision to Joe Frazier in 1971 and lost by split decision to Ken Norton in 1973, suffering a broken jaw in the process.
He wasn’t invincible. He was beatable. Like all of them.
Virtually all of the great ones have lost — and lost big.