Muhammad Ali: British heavyweight rival talks love, death and world domination

British heavyweight boxer Richard Dunn, who fought Muhammad Ali for the world title in 1976 has spoken of his "great love" for the US fighter and claimed that later champions like Mike Tyson could not lay a glove on the man known as 'The Greatest'.

Richard Dunn (left) took Ali to five rounds in 1976

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A British heavyweight boxer who fought Muhammad Ali for the world title in 1976 has spoken of his "great love" for the US fighter and claimed that later champions like Mike Tyson could not lay a glove on the man known as 'The Greatest'. 

In a wide-ranging interview with Jonny Gould and Ash, the former British, European and Commonwealth champion Richard Dunn spoke fondly of Ali, who he took to five rounds in Munich in April 1976 before being knocked out. 

Dunn, who is also president of his local branch of Parkinson's Disease UK in Yorkshire, talked to the brothers Gould about Ali's long struggle with the illness that led to his death on 3 June, his abilities as a boxer and his warmth as a man.  

"I see a lot of [people with Parkinson's] all the time and it’s horrendous," Dunn told Jonny Gould. "I don’t know how they cope.

“We’ll now get a load of idiots saying ‘he got Parkinson’s Disease because of the boxing’, but that’s a load of rubbish. It’s about what you’re born with, it’s in your genes. 

"I met Ali four or five times after [the pair's title fight]. We stayed friends right to the end. I really loved the man.

"The last time I saw him was two years ago in Manchester and I said to myself at the time that I’d never see him again, he was no longer the man I knew.

“Ali was the greatest of all time, without a doubt.

"Would he have beaten Mike Tyson? I don’t think Tyson would have hit him to be honest with you. [Ali] would have walked all over him.

“If he’d been a market trader he’d have been the best in the world; if he’d been a joiner he’d have been the best joiner in the world.

"That was the type of person he was – whatever he did he’d have been the best at it."

Listen above to Richard Dunn's memories of the three-time world heavyweight champion. 

Mike Tyson wouldn't have hit him. [Ali] would have walked all over him.
Richard Dunn, ex-heavyweight boxer