Muhammad Ali left a huge footprint on the 20th century, and also became part of Canadian sports history with a pair of victories over tough as nails George Chuvalo.
At the time of their first bout in 1966 — a memorable clash at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens — The Greatest was embroiled in a controversy over his resistance to the Vietnam War.
The fight turned Chuvalo into a national hero simply for staying on his feet for 15 rounds against the most gifted boxer of the era.
The rematch came in 1972 at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver.
Ali had been arrested for draft evasion in 1967 and hadn’t fought for four years.
He was punching his way back to the top, and had vowed to be the first to knock Chuvalo down, however, it was a promise he would not be able to keep.
The fight ended the same way the first one did, with Ali winning a unanimous victory, but Chuvalo again refusing to go down.
Ali later admitted that Chuvalo, who was never knocked down in 93 pro bouts, was “the toughest guy I ever fought.”
(The Canadian Press)<