News

Ali retroactively named Fighter of the Year for 1966

The world said a final farewell to arguably the greatest heavyweight champion who ever lived in 2016. Photo: THE RING Archive
08
Dec

THE RING MAGAZINE NAMES ALI FIGHTER OF THE YEAR A HALF CENTURY AFTER HE WAS DENIED THE HONOR BECAUSE OF HIS STAND AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR AND AFFILIATION WITH THE NATION OF ISLAM

 

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.

No one would receive the award for only the second time. Primo Carnera, the top fighter in 1933, was denied the honor because of his alleged connections to the mob.

The editors tried to justify their decision to deny Ali the award in the March 1967 issue of the magazine, in which Dan Daniel wrote that Fighters of the Year must be good citizens – based on the magazine’s standards – as well as good boxers.

They said in part that Ali was disqualified because “the Fighter of the Year must be recognized as an example to the Growing American Boy”.

Ali was vindicated in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his conscientious objector status by a vote of 8-0, but the editors of the magazine never revisited the 1966 Fighter of the Year – until now.

The current editors, after considerable discussion, decided to right what we believed to be a wrong. We decided to name Ali Fighter of the Year for 1966 retroactively.

“The editors at that time obviously felt strongly that Ali, while succeeding in the ring, didn’t meet other criteria they deemed important,” said current Editor-in-Chief Michael Rosenthal. “But we can see the injustice by today’s standards even if we take issue with some of things Ali said and did.

“Bottom line: He was punished for standing up for his beliefs and his association with a controversial organization, factors that almost certainly wouldn’t preclude a worthy candidate from winning a similar award today.”

One friend and former rival of Ali didn’t have to think long when he was asked what he thought of our decision.

“Give it to him,” Larry Holmes said. “He was the best, wasn’t he? You’re (giving him the award) because he was the best at what he did.

“This has nothing to do with Vietnam, this is boxing. He was the best. You’re rewarding him and giving him credit for that.”

Muhammad Ali has now received THE RING Fighter of the Year award a record six times: 1963, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1978.

You can read the article that was published in the March 1967 issue of THE RING and the full-length story on the current editors’ decision at RingTV.com. These features also will appear in the March 2017 issue of the magazine (front cover below).

cv1ring_3mar17_cover_final_us

THE RING CONTACTS:

Michael Rosenthal, Editor-in-Chief: [email protected]
Brian Harty, Managing Editor: [email protected]
Doug Fischer, Associate Editor (Editor-in-Chief of RingTV.com): [email protected]

 

Struggling to locate a copy of RING magazine? Try here

  • The Black Mamba

    There are great fighters and then there is Ali.

  • Jody Hanna

    Good decision and long overdue, just a shame you didn’t do it while he was still alive. So wrong that he was denied in the first place because his beliefs didn’t fit in with those of The Ring staff at the time.
    Ali in 1966 was as good a fighter as any that’s graced the sport before or since.
    Better late than never, congratulations champ.

    • Orca

      Well said and I fully agree. Well done Champ.

    • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

      Hey that’s the year Floyd was born! Floyd The Greatest of All Time of any year!

      • Ernesto

        Nop, Floyd was born in 1977

  • The Black Mamba

    There are great fighters, and then there is Ali.

    • Charlie Underbite

      So Ali wasn’t great? I kid, I kid. Kudos.

  • mark elding

    Justice at last. A tremendous way to honour the great man.
    Ali, Foreman and Frazier shared the top award between them on no less than 8 occasions during the ’70’s (arguably a bit too much. Couldn’t Duran have been honoured just once?), yet Tyson Fury’s Fighter of the Year award for 2015 was the first time a heavyweight fighter received top honours for 18 years! And I don’t think Fury deserved it. Notable acheivement, pitiful fight.
    Added proof that the big men no longer generate anywhere near the same impact that their predecessors once did.
    As discussed in a recent Tom Gray article, the brilliant ’80’s documentary ‘Champions Forever’ examines the greatest era in heavyweight history, and I strongly recommend cheching it out for snyone yet to see it.

    • Orca

      Agreed. Plus, 5 fights in one year for a top champion…..imagine that.

      • mark elding

        Absolutely.
        I don’t think activity should be the prevailing factor in awarding the honours. Nonito Donaire’s greater activity won out in 2012, when I think JM Marquez’ one punch KO of Pacquiao alone should have been recognised. However, Ali was nothing short of sensational in ’66, on top of his game, and far more consistently impressive than either Donaire’s 4 fights in 2012, or Oscar’s 5 in ’97.

        • Orca

          Agree with all your points. I just meant I like a busy champ. Once or twice a year doesn’t cut it for me.

          • mark elding

            I like a busy champ too. I loved watching prime Toney ply his craft every 6 or 7 weeks during his prime, albeit mostly non-title fights.
            Seeing a guy like Lomachenko step in the ring 4 or 5 times a year right now would be awesome, and he’d likely be even sharper, which is a scary thought.

          • Orca

            Yeah, I was a big fan of Toney. 6 weeks after a tough fight against Nunn and he’s back in the ring against top contender Reggie Johnson. Old school. Would love to see Lomachenko fight that often. I heard Eddie Hearn mention that Joshua will fight twice a year when the competition is better. I understand it but surely he can pop a non title stay busy fight in between. Like Chavez used to do. Keeps you sharp and in the public eye.

          • Julio

            Problem with Chavez is that he had a little too much of those “stay busy” fights than necessary.

          • Giuseppe

            you know any toney talk gets an update for me. he fought 21 times in a stretch of about 5 years. monster. it’s just great when you see a fighter who wants to fight. remember that? now we have Danny Jacobs!!

          • mark elding

            I don’t care to question the courage of any fighter but, in comparison to Toney, the middleweight division has seen an awful lot of outright cowards in recent years.

      • philipmatsikoudis

        There were far more than (5) top notch Heavyweights during Ali’s era. There were probably at least a dozen heavyweights who would have been Heavyweight Champions if they had lived in many other ERA’s in Boxing history. Besides Frazier, Foreman and Holmes there was also (5) Sonny Liston; (6) Floyd Patterson (7) Earnie Shavers; (8) Jerry Quarry; (9) Oscar Bonavena; (10) Jimmy Ellis; (11) Ernie Terrell; (12) Eddie Machen; (13) George Chuvalo; (14) Buster Mathis; (15) Joe Bugner; (16) Ron Lyle; (17) Ken Norton; (18) Cleveland Williams; (19) Zora Folley and Leotis Martin (20), All of these Boxers are arguably better than Jack Sharkey, Primo Carnera, Jimmy Braddock, Ingemar Johannssen; Tim Witherspoon, Pinklon Thomas, John Tate, John L. Sullivan, Tommy Burns, Jim Corbett, Marvin Hart, Michael Moorer, Ray Mercer, Greg Page, Jess Willard, John Ruiz, Leon Spinks, Nikolay Valuev, Michael Dokes; Trevor Berbick, Oleg Maskaev, Gerri Coetzee; Mike Weaver, Hasim Rahman or Tyson Fury.

  • Michel Desgrottes

    he was robbed

  • D Johnson

    15 years between his first and last Foty award. Amazing!!

  • Kudos

    Well deserved Cassius Clay

  • Will Arbuckle

    Pardon me, half right anyways.. The negative regarding the draft and the nation is absolutely ridiculous folks…. A disgrace….. Need a new board……. At your magazine

  • Robert Archambault

    While you are at it, how about correcting a more recent error and strip the MW title from Canelo? That title should join those GGG already has and be on the line for the GGG – Jacobs fight if it finally comes off.

    • JV316

      my god, man

    • You’ll need to wait half a century for that too.

  • Tony Nightstick

    Not a fan of historical revisionism or so-called restitution, always accompanied by the smug and supposed superiority of today over yesterday. Whether the 1966 decision was right or wrong, according to our own subjective lights, is beside the point. Nat Fleischer (whom I’d take over Michael Rosenthal any day of the week and twice on Sundays) made a call based on his own judgment and the prevailing mores of his time. It should have been left at that. No? Well, maybe in 2066 the magazine’s then-editor will decide that the original determination was right and rescind Rosenthal’s characteristically self-righteous decision. Ah, history as yo-yo.

    By the way, the Supreme Court isn’t in the “vindicating” business. It rendered a decision that favored Ali, yes, but that hardly constitutes (pun intended) “vindication.”

    As for Ali’s “association with a controversial organization” being a “factor that almost certainly wouldn’t preclude a worthy candidate from winning a similar award today”: Given that the organization in question is more of a hate group than merely “controversial,” I wonder if Rosenthal would be so tolerant and forgiving if a white Ali had been a member of, say, the KKK. I think we all know the answer to that one.

    One more thing: What’s Rosenthal and his merry men waiting for to name Carnera 1933’s Fighter of the Year? Is a politically correct component missing? Say it ain’t so!

    • Jody Hanna

      Funny how Fleischer wouldn’t award Ali fighter of the year for 1966 but refused to strip him of recognition as Heavyweight champion of the world after everyone else did, only vacating it when Ali announced his retirement leaving it open for Joe Frazier.

      • Tom Gray

        See Tyson Fury. Removing someone as RING/ linear champion has more intanglibles attached than when it’s govering body belts. I’m not putting those belts down, it’s just more complex based on the historical significance and lineage. Frazier smoked Ali’s boots in the ring and it all worked out in the end 🙂

        • Jody Hanna

          The alphabet boys have never had the history/integrity (usually) of The Ring belt. The one I always thought fighters should aspire to.

    • Stephen M

      “Nat Fleischer (…)made a call based on his own judgment and the prevailing mores of his time. ”
      And Rosenthal did the same. Do you see a double standard?

    • Andy Feltzin

      Exactly my thought on Carnera, this seems like a blatant double standard.

    • Tom Gray

      Hey Tony

      Just a couple of things in relation to what you’ve said here:

      “As for Ali’s “association with a controversial organization” being a factor that almost certainly wouldn’t preclude a worthy candidate from winning a similar award today”: Given that the organization in question is more of a hate group than merely “controversial,” I wonder if
      Rosenthal would be so tolerant and forgiving if a white Ali had been a member of, say, the KKK. I think we all know the answer to that one.”

      Mike has real issue with things Ali said during the 60s. He has made that clear himself on several occasions in the magazine. He also mentions it in the article that is hyperlinked at the bottom of this one. I too take issue with Ali during this period. However, this was ALL outside of the ring and had nothing to do with what went on inside of it. As a fighter, in 1966, Ali was the best.

      If THE RING took issue with every fighter that strikes a nerve with the public at large, then it’s safe to say we would have had a different Fighter of the Year for 2015.

      “One more thing: What’s Rosenthal and his merry men waiting for to name Carnera 1933’s Fighter of the Year? Is a politically correct component missing? Say it ain’t so!”

      You’ll know the answer to this so I don’t really understand the question, Tony. Carnera was linked to the mob and fight fixing for years. While I “personally” believe the Jack Sharkey rematch (1933) victory was legit, there was a whole lot of smoke in the lead up to that. Bottom line: This case related to IN-RING activity and could scarely be more different.

      In terms of the “self-righteous decision” to give Ali the Fighter of the Year award for 1966, allow me to shed some light. I posted a piece last month on the Muhammad Ali-Cleveland Williams fight. In the comments section, a documentary film maker asked about the 1966 award and I thought he made a very interesting point. I passed the information on to Mike and the issue was discussed at length between the editors. Not just the Ali side of things, but the other fighters who could have been in the running for the award that year: Emile Griffith and Dick Tiger included. The decision was not taken lightly because frankly speaking there’s too much at stake.

      (Click this link) http://www.ringtv.com/473407-perfection-the-50-year-anniversary-ali-williams/

      Thanks a ton for the feedback Tony. Much appreciated.

      Tom

      • Tony Nightstick

        All genuine respect, Tom, and I appreciate your characteristically courteous comment.

        I’m not saying that Ali didn’t deserve recognition as Fighter of the Year in 1966. Perhaps he did, but that’s really not the point. What I object to is the knee-jerk belief that present-day standards are invariably and inherently superior to those of yesteryear. I further take issue with our arrogantly thinking that we have not only the right but some sort of moral obligation to impose those standards on events or decisions of the past. Were our predecessors really so benighted? Are we, who do nothing more than stand on their shoulders, really so enlightened? I hardly think so.

        As for Carnera…there are boxing historians and Liston experts who think that the Nation of Islam persuaded, shall we say, Liston to take a dive in both championship bouts. If true, that certainly would impact Ali’s “IN-RING activity.”

        You say “there’s too much at stake.” You’re right — history itself.

        Thanks, Tom.

        • Tom Gray

          Cheers bro.

          I totally get what you’re saying and I can see both arguments.

          Ali is a chosen specialized subject of mine and probably yours too. Liston nails Clay with shots that could have finished him in fight one. Then you have the glove juicing and subsequent punishment in Round 5. Liston was all out to win that fight and of that there is no real dispute. In the second fight, for me, Liston swallowed it when he found himself on the floor. The fix could have been in but from Liston’s side, not Ali’s. What’s your thoughts?

          Carnera socialized with a bad element and their stamp was on more than one or two of his fights. He was more the Liston of the equation in my view.

          • Tony Nightstick

            I think that neither Carnera nor Ali were in on whatever fixes may have taken place. If the fixes were in, however, Ali didn’t benefit any less than did Carnera.

          • Tom Gray

            More smoke around Carnera historically though. Far more.

            Nice speaking to you, catch up soon.

          • Tony Nightstick

            Look forward to it.

        • Stephen M

          Not sure what is “knee jerk” in having taken 50 years to take this action? “Were our predecessors really so benighted?” Yes they were. That’s why there was a civil rights movement and a cultural revolution. The beginnings of expanding freedom…

    • mua2

      Tony,

      Sloppy equivocation of NOI to KKK.

      NOI was a response to the historical oppression of black people. KKK was a response to being denied the right to oppress black people.

      NOI had objectionable racial attitudes but where otherwise quite harmless. KKK went on a decades long rampage of lynchings, castratations, murders and general mayhem

      NOI – a religion. KKK – not a religion. One guaranteed freedom to worship the other is not.

      Also, having a UNANIMOUS 8-0 decision on the supreme court affirming that you were denied your due constitutional process is the definition of vindication.

      • Stephen M

        Thank you.

      • Unam the Unseen

        The KKK comparison really isn’t all that sloppy, especially when you consider their shared affinity for ethnic nationalism. Yes, the NOI are ethnic nathionalists, arguably even more so then the klan.

        Hey, didn’t Ali speak at a klan rally back in 1975, “blue birds with blue birds, red birds with red birds, pigeons with pigeons, eagles with eagles…”? Was what he was saying in 1966 much different?

        Real, real great guy. That’s why he deserves a recount but Carnera doesn’t, cuz you guys really, really like him. Who needs standards, consistency, the semblence of objectivity when you can just rely on your feelings?

        Has anyone presented any evidence to discredit the work Carnera did in the ring in ’33, proven in any way that the results are tainted? Shouldn’t he get his posthumous award, too? No?

        I think Ali was a really good fighter too, did some great things in the ring; but damn, this whole personality cult is getting old.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ebb9417b1ecdcea156dc46f2d462b4f3c38b71c31743e2fbaa409b75ab8a81b.png

  • Andy Feltzin

    I applaud that the RING is writing a historical wrong, but under this criteria shouldn’t they also be naming
    Primo Carnera fighter of the year for 1933, it seems like a gross double standard and oversight not to.

    • Tom Gray

      Hey Andy.

      Carnera had mob ties and was linked to fight fixing for years. As I said above, I “personally” believe his rematch win over Jack Sharkey was legit but a lot of shady stuff went down before that. So, the difference between Carnera and Ali is that Carnera’s troubles related “directly” to what went on in the ring.

      It’s only double-standards if you say Carnera deserves an award because Ali was given one. It is not double-standards if you review the details of both cases. They could scarely be more different.

      Hope you’re good.

      Tom

      • Andy Feltzin

        Tom, I respectively disagree with your argument.

        After doing a bit of research, I can find no definitive proof that any of Carnera’s 1933 fights were fixed. Lets look at them one by one. He first fought Ernie Schaaf who died after the fight from a brain hemorrhage. If Schaaf was in on a fix, he really screwed up badly. He next fought Sharkey who you yourself personally believe Carnera beat legitimately. His last fight against Paulino Uzcudun was against a guy who had lost on points several times before and was fighting in Carnera’s backyard. I simply don’t believe there is enough evidence to conclude that any of Carnera’s fights from that year were illegitimate and therefore believe that its rather arbitrary that the Ring chose to withhold fighter of the year status from him.

        If there was any solid evidence Carnera’s 1933 fights were fixed, thats one thing, but I can’t see any.

        • Tom Gray

          Hey Andy

          Going out for dinner but will definitely get back to you.

          Have a great weekend.

          • Andy Feltzin

            you too, have a nice dinner

        • Tom Gray

          Phew… Just back from Manchester and promised I would get back to you, Andy.

          I don’t think 1933 is the major issue when it comes to Carnera. As you know, you build your way up to a title shot and Carnera had a string of KO victories over the preceeding years that were called into question – big time. Should his murky rise to top contender status be ignored?

          Carnera’s association with organised crime will always cloud his achievements in the ring.

          We can disagree and I 100 percent respect your opinion but for me this is completely different to the Ali situation.

          • Unam the Unseen

            Should his murky rise to top contender status be ignored?

            Yes, just as Ali’s murky title winning effort in ’64, and his continued association with an organization that was as riddled with felons as Carnera’s mob, should be ignored for the purpose of evaluating the best in-ring work for ’66.

            How about picking an actual standard and applying it dispassionately? Makes it harder to continually raise the pedestal upon which we place our heroes, but its the only way to make meaningful intertemporal comparisons.

            How can Gene Tunney be a legitimate fighter of the year when he actively drew the color line against the best contenders of the day? Should Max Schmeling’s honor’s be rescinded because he fought for the nazis in WWII? Was Floyd Pattersom truly worthy of his title shot in ’56 or was Jackie Robinson-esque social engineering his ticket to the front of the queue? This is a bullshit way of assessing what we see in the ring.

          • Tom Gray

            We disagree on most of this but thanks for taking the time to express your views. I really appreciate it.

            “Yes, just as Ali’s murky title winning effort in ’64, and his continued association with a murky organization that was as riddled with felons as Carnera’s mob, should be ignored for the purpose of evaluating the best in-ring work for ’66.”

            We have all six rounds of Liston-Clay (1964) in hi-definition and the former is literally trying to tear Clay’s head off. When that didn’t work, the popular belief is that Liston’s gloves were juiced, a ploy that had allegedly been used in two prior fights (Zora Foley and Eddie Machen).

            Are you blaming Clay for this? Not Liston? Doesn’t it say more about Clay that he survived to win this fight, despite being almost blind for the best part of three minutes? This is nothing to do with epiphany for Ali. Where am I going wrong? Liston lands shots in that fight that would break your neck. Jackie Chan couldn’t have choreographed it.

            The rematch was far more controversial but Liston seems to be the common
            denominator here and what do you know – Liston is the one with the mob
            connections.

            The comparison between the “murky organisation” that Ali was aligned with and “Carnera’s mob” is flawed. While the NOI may have been “riddled with felons”,
            it was not notorious for fixing fights. The mob, however, was and continued to
            do it for decades, resulting in an FBI investigation.

            “How about picking an actual standard and applying it dispassionately? Makes it harder to continually raise the pedestal upon which we place our heroes, but its the only way to make meaningful intertemporal comparisons.”

            In my view, there is no comparison between the Ali and Carnera cases and that’s where this begins and ends. Carnera’s pre-world title fight resume is littered with controversy. You’ll know all of this already but here are some of the facts:

            The notorious double DQ vs. Young Stribling was panned by the media at the time

            Opponents were fined for not competing

            There were victories over opponents who were part of Carnera’s team

            There were victories over opponents who were notorious for taking dives

            Bottom line, Carnera had mob ties and a litany of fights that look as legitimate as a $6 note. By comparison, you have the controversial brace of Ali-Liston bouts, which are flagged up due to LISTON’s links to organized crime. If there is a comparison here, it’s between Carnera and Liston.

            “How can Gene Tunney be a legitimate fighter of the year when he actively drew the color line against the best contenders of the day? Should Max Schmeling’s honors be rescinded because he fought for the nazis in WWII? Was Floyd Patterson truly worthy of his title shot in ’56 or was Jackie Robinson-esque civil-rights-era social engineering his ticket to the front of the queue? This is a bullshit way of assessing what we see in the ring.”

            Tunney’s ducking of Godfrey, among other black fighters, is demonstrable. On that we agree. He was the first recipient of the award and the Dempsey victories seem to have overshadowed everything else.

            Schmeling? He got his Fighter of the Year award for what he did in the ring.

            Patterson-Moore? Were there more deserving challengers? Maybe there were. THE RING weren’t, and aren’t, matchmakers. Patterson KOd Moore in five rounds and became the youngest heavyweight champion ever. Hence, Fighter of the Year 1956.

            Thanks again.

            Tom

          • Andy Feltzin

            Hello Tom, Thank you for getting back to me. Here is my thought on a fighter of the year award. It is limited to the body of work any one fighter completes in one year. Personally I don’t think it matters if all of Primo Carneras fights up until 1933 were fixed, so long as his wins in 1933 are 1) legitimate, and 2) the best body of work from any fighter in that given year, he should win the award.

            Once again, I don’t like taking something away from a fighter based on speculation about his character. Absent any proof that his 1933 fights were fixed, I think Carnera should be given the benefit of the doubt we extend to all fighters that the results we see in the ring are legitimate.

          • Tom Gray

            No problem, Andy 😉

            I don’t agree bro.

            A large portion of Carnera’s run prior to his title shot brough the sport itself into disrepute. Forget everything going on outside the ring, his associations became dentrimental to what was going inside of it. And while I can see your point in relation to 1933 specifically, I “personally” cannot endorse it.

            Catch up soon pal.

  • Ignition1

    Part of me applauds the decision, but another part of me doesn’t. I don’t accept re-writing history. In the same way I applaud what Warner Bros have done with re-runs of their old cartoons –

    http://imgur.com/gallery/sOklpJa – for those who can’t see this, it says “the cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. While the following does not represent the Warner Bros view of today’s society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do so otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed”

    The last point is so key in this argument. An apology from The Ring maybe, and acceptance it was wrong – recognising it was wrong – that’s fine. But changing history but instating Ali as fighter of the year is equally wrong in my eyes – it’s like pretending it never happened.

    Looking at it realistically though – it doesn’t make a difference. Ali being RING fighter of the year 1966* will always have a * against it – the decision was made then to not award him that honour, nothing we do today can change that. In my view it’s best to accept it was a bad / biased decision, and live with it.

  • philipmatsikoudis

    Excellent move, but what took so long to right such a ridiculous wrong. It should have occurred while the greatest was alive and he could have at least received a degree of satisfaction that The Ring Magazine had enough common sense to right such an obvious wrong. As I stated at the outset…Excellent move as late is better than never. Now right Primo Carnera as nothing was ever proved definitively against the former Heavyweight King. Carnera is deserving from what I’ve read. He was not the cartoonish character portrayed in the “Harder They Fall” which was based on Primo Carnera’s career, which is still one of the biggest mysteries in boxing, as many of the sport’s historians believe that, without Carnera’s knowledge, his managers paid most of his opponents to throw their fights. Carnera unsuccessfully sued for defamation of character as it’s extremely difficult for a Public Figure to win a defamation of character lawsuit as the plaintiff most prove that the defendant’s intent in the cause of action was to knowingly and purposely cause harm to the plaintiff’s character with malice aforethought. Clearly the theme of writer Bud Schulberg yarn was not so much about Primo Carnera as it was an unveiling of the evil state of boxing and its denizens in general and in fact the Carnera character is treated sympathetically as being a naive athlete who simply didn’t realize he was being used until he was abused by receiving chump change of $47.00 as his prize money for the big bout in the movie when the boxer who mirrored Carnera in size and looks believed he was going to receive about $26k. The Humphrey Bogart character who is the narrator of author Bud Schulberg’s supposed expose of Boxing gives his share from the bout to the fleeced Boxer, which was $26K. This movie was also the great movie star Humphrey Bogart’s last film before he succumbed to esophageal cancer, most likely attributed to Bogie’s unfettered chain smoking habit. Primo Carnera suffered a lot of slights that were never proven and he deserves the respect of having won the Heavyweight Championship of the World. He was the best Boxer in 1933 and he and his family deserve the Ring’s recognition of the unsubstantiated slanders that haven’t a scintilla of undisputed proof of being deemed as historical proof. Carnera deserves far more respect than he has ever received, but in fact has been unfairly denied by an opinion sorely lacking in undeniable truths.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    Though still in trade school, I was already closely following boxing at that time and though I loathed Ali for his big mouth and unconventional ways and controversial stands, there was no denying he was the best fighter and ring performer of that year, 1966. The prevailing view and sentiment of that time was that although Ali deserved the honor as FOTY, he had to be taught a lesson and his wings had to be clipped for his own good. But in the back of the minds of many, the Ring purposely withheld the award because of pressure from the powers that be who were leery of Ali’s growing popularity and influence among US minorities and even among many people in the so called Third World. Pointedly, the denial of the award prevented him from winning his third straight FOTY honors if memory serves.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    Looking back, Ali was at his absolute best in 1966 and 1967 and the Ring chose not to name the FOTY in 1966 and the Establishment chose to harangue and hound him to a forced retirement in 1967. What a waste!

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