The Movies: Muhammad Ali's Signature and its Relevance Today
Muhammad Ali (born January 17, 1942) is widely considered the greatest boxer the world has ever seen. He won the World Heavy Weight title 3 times and was the first person to do so. During his time as a boxer, he beat great fighters like George Foreman and Joe Frazier during what is considered the golden age for boxing.
Muhammad Ali recently passed at the age of 74. His skills as a boxer may have diminished as he got older, but his contribution to the sport of boxing will never be forgotten. Here are some moves used by Muhammad Ali that is still in use today.
1. The Anchor Punch
The Anchor Punch was one of Ali's best weapon, even though he was mostly known for his tremendous jabs to the eye. The Anchor Punch was a right-handed punch used as a counter, just as his opponents were retracting their jab. This punch was employed by Ali to knock out Sonny Liston controversially in their rematch. In an interview after the Liston fight, Ali said that the Anchor Punch was a punch used by Jack Johnson and that Johnson took the punch's secret to the grave with him.
Here is the Interview with Muhammad Ali explaining about the Anchor Punch.
Nowadays, the Anchor Punch can be seen in use in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matches.
2. The Ali Shuffle
The Ali Shuffle was a distraction and a taunt to the opposition. Muhammad Ali would seemingly let his guard down and bounce from front to back and side to side on his toes. Then he would quickly shuffle his feet and leave his opponents mesmerized. This did not directly harm the opponent. However, the mesmerized opponent would then meet a spell of punches from Ali, which they would not be able to defend. You can find the full description of The Ali Shuffle here.
A demonstration of the Ali Shuffle can be seen in the video below.
3. Rope a Dope
Rope a Dope is a boxing technique where a boxer stays by the line and asks his opponent to throw ineffective punches, in order to tire their opponent out. Muhammad Ali famously used this technique to regain his World Heavy Weight Title from George Foreman in 1974.
In the era when Muhammad Ali was boxing (the 1960's and 70's), boxers were big and powerful like Sonny Liston and George Foreman. In order to get the better of them, Ali had to devise different ways of fighting. With Liston, he was able to use his superior speed, but Ali had lost his exceptional speed (he was fast but not as fast as before) by the time he had to face George Foreman, due to his exile from boxing.
So, for the 'Rumble in the Jungle' fight, against the then unbeaten George Foreman, Muhammad Ali used this boxing strategy, which he later called the 'Rope a Dope.' Ali predicted that Foreman would tire out midway through the fight, so he just defended and conserved his energy. As the match got longer Foreman got tired, and in the eighth round, Ali finished the match with a knockout.
Here is Muhammad Ali announcing the Rope a Dope in an interview before a match against Ron Lyle.
This technique was most recently used by Professional Boxer Floyd Mayweather, who was undefeated as a professional (49 wins -0 losses; 26 KO). Here are the best moments of Mayweather's second last fight with Manny Pacquiao, which was billed as the fight of this century.
Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer that ever lived, and his greatness will echo through history in these moves that he has left us.