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Posted: Tuesday January 17, 2012 11:53AM ; Updated: Tuesday January 17, 2012 11:53AM

SI's coverage of Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad Ali retired from boxing with a record of 56-5.
Muhammad Ali retired from boxing with a record of 56-5.
Trevor Humphries/Getty Images

SI looks back at nearly 50 years of Muhammad Ali coverage as the former heavyweight champion celebrates his 70th birthday on Jan. 17.

Fast Talk And A Slow Fight
By Huston Horn, July 31, 1961
A brash young Olympic champion gets his eighth straight professional victory, but shows little flair and less power.

Who Made Me -- Is Me!
By Huston Horn, September 25, 1961
This claim is made by Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a bubbling young boxer whose nerve is colossal and whose modest aim is to knock the heavyweight crown off Floyd Patterson's head.

Cautious Comes Of Age
By Gilbert Rogin, October 16, 1961
Cassius Clay, the heavyweight prodigy who is called Cautious by his trainer, was anything but in Louisville last week. He knocked out Alex Miteff and showed he can fight almost as much as he can talk.

The Eleven Men Behind Cassius Clay
By Huston Horn, March 11, 1963
Innocent of prizefighting's bad old ways, these gentlemen hope by their example to put an end to the exploiting of boxers. They expect Clay to get rich and to get a little bit richer themselves.

The Baddest Of All Looks Over The Universe
By Tex Maule, February 15, 1965
Muhammad Ali impishly predicts that he will hold his title even against the moon. More seriously, he offers shrewd observations on Patterson's comeback and the heavyweight outlook.

A Quick, Hard Right And A Needless Storm Of Protest
By Tex Maule, June 7, 1965
Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) is a fighter bedeviled by his own excellence. He knocked out big Sonny Liston with a punch so marvelously fast that almost no one believed in it -- but it was hard and true.

Cassius Clay Must Be Beaten
By Floyd Patterson and Jack Mahon
Floyd Patterson will fight Cassius Clay for the world heavyweight championship on November 22 in Las Vegas. Here, with writer Jack Mahon, he tells why he believes he is going to win the title fight, and why he feels that he must win it.

The Wind That Blew In Chicago
By William Barry Furlong, March 7, 1966
Cassius Clay was stage center as the Illinois commission reopened hearings on his fight with Ernie Terrell, but politicians (and 'patriots') were as much on trial as the champion.

A Case Of Conscience
By Jack Olsen, April 11 1966
Call him Cassias Clay or Muhammad Ali, the Muslim name he prefers. He is the best-known athlete in the world. He is also the most hated, and an enigma even to those closest to him.

Growing Up Scared In Louisville
By Jack Olsen, April 18, 1966
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., a man-child as prejudiced as the stiff-necked bigots he professes to detest, was unusual almost from the day he was born.

Learning Elijah's Advanced Lesson In Hate
By Jack Olsen, May 2, 1966
It is difficult to see how Cassius Clay, who may have become a Black Muslim as early as 16, could have been kept out of the movement. Mystical, unsettled and obsessed with prophecy, he was a perfect prospect.

Champ In The Jug?
By Robert H. Boyle, April 10, 1967
In a fateful week it suddenly seemed possible that Muhammad Ali would prefer jail to Army duty. Ironically, this came when Manager Herbert Muhammad was working to make Ali less objectionable.

Taps For The Champ
By Edwin Shrake, May 8, 1967
Muhammad Ali predicted great demonstrations, but they were mild (left). And so were the induction proceedings in Houston, where a calm military led Ali down the corridor to the room where he would make his fateful decision to reject the draft call.

"I Am Not Worried About Ali"
By Bill Russell and Tex Maule, June 19, 1967
Earlier this month a group of prominent Negro athletes held a confidential meeting with Muhammad Ali in Cleveland to discuss his decision to reject Army service. Much erroneous public conjecture ensued. Here one of the leading participants tells what did happen and offers provocative opinions of his own.

He Could Go To Jail And Still Be Champ
By Angelo Dundee and Tex Maule, August 28, 1967
The man who beat Karl Mildenberger 'fighting him wrong' is too young and assured, says Dundee, to be ruined as a boxer if draft troubles put him behind bars.

For Ali, A Time To Preach
By Tex Maule, February 19, 1968
Whether sermonizing in California or at home, Muhammad Ali is still as controversial and colorful as he ever was in the ring to which, he promises, he will return a winner from 'Alcatraz.'

Welcome Back, Ali!
By Martin Kane, September 14, 1970
Overweight and undertrained, Muhammad still looked mighty good as he returned to action in Atlanta and worked up a sweat against three sparring partners. He could quickly get ready for the real thing.

No Requiem For A Heavyweight
By George Plimpton, April 5, 1971
The fight, the dressing room, the hospital are all behind him. Now Muhammad Ali guides strangers through his new house, toys with its sparkling chandeliers and shows nothing has really changed.

Got To Look Good To Allah
By Tex Maule, November 29, 1971
Muhammad Ali, the compassionate, has his old skills, but the will to kill has waned.

Just Call Him Shubert Ali
By Mark Kram, October 2, 1972
Bobbing out of reach or reaching out for Frazier, it was Broadway show biz for Muhammad.

Bury His Heart At Wounded Jaw
By Dan Levin, April 9, 1973
Few saw the punch, but it was obvious that for all of Muhammad's courage a Whodoyoucallim named Norton had cracked his armor.

The Mouth That Nearly Roared
By Tex Maule, April 23, 1973
His wired jaw kept the decibels down, but the message was clear: Norton, Frazier and Foreman are in trouble. Muhammad Ali will be 'trained' for this comeback and better than ever. That's what he says.

Jawful Test On The Mountain
By Mark Kram, September 3, 1973
Muhammad Ali took it on the chin for real and felt no ill effects from his recent fracture. Training hard and seriously at his hillside retreat, he is still king of his clique and future champion of all he surveys.

Crafty Win For Muhammad
By Mark Kram, February 4, 1974
There were no bombs in his fists, but with artfulness ripened through the years Ali took on all that Joe Frazier could offer and easily won their rematch.

Breaking A Date For The Dance
By George Plimpton, November 11, 1974
All through his training Ali had promised the fancy footwork that would elude Foreman's power, but he had a secret plan that stunned them all and especially the champion.

Return Of The Big Bopper
By George Plimpton, December 23, 1974
Down but determined to fight his way back to the top, Muhammad Ali turned 1974 into a year of great triumph.

"Lawdy, Lawdy, He's Great"
By Mark Kram, October 13, 1975
Joe Frazier said that of Muhammad Ali, but so fierce and unsparing was their confrontation that the phrase could have applied to them both.

Oh, To Be Young And 200 Pounds
By Mark Kram, May 31, 1976
With Muhammad Ali about to take his last bow, a bunch of pretenders are being groomed for a shot at the crown.

But Only A Farce In Tokyo
By Mark Kram, July 5, 1976
Ballyhooed by promoters as The War of the Worlds, the Ali-Inoki fiasco ultimately proved to be the bore of the ages.

Not The Greatest Way To Go
By Mark Kram, October 11, 1976
If, as Muhammad Ali maintains, his disputed victory over Ken Norton was his last fight ever, the faded image of his old skills that he left in the ring at Yankee Stadium makes his decision a wise one.

Through The Years With Ali
By SI Staff, December 20, 1976
Out of Louisville he came, to become champion of the world twice. Now Ali, whose worldwide celebrity may be unequaled in modern times, is near the end of his boxing career, and if no longer the greatest, he is still the best. He has quit, unquit and requit, the prerogative of the aging genius -- and the signal for a shuffle down memory lane. Here is a sampling of his life and times.

One More Time To The Top
By Pat Putnam, September 25, 1978
Circling around a confused Leon Spinks, old master Ali jabbed a bit, grabbed a bit and won the world title all over again in their Battle of New Orleans.

The Latest From The Greatest
By Pat Putnam, April 14, 1980
He may be way out of shape and 38, but an $8 million purse beckons, and so Muhammad has gone to the mountain.

Doom In The Desert
By Pat Putnam, October 13, 1980
The ravages of age and his training regimen left Muhammad Ali helpless before the swift fists of Larry Holmes.

Not With A Bang But A Whisper
By William Nack, December 21, 1981
After losing to Trevor Berbick, a subdued Muhammad Ali softly admitted that his illustrious career had come to an end.

After The Fall
By Gary Smith, October 8, 1984
Ten years ago this month George Foreman and Muhammad Ali met in the ring in Zaire. While Ali won that war, it's Foreman who has found lasting peace.

Ali And His Entourage
By Gary Smith, April 25, 1988
The champ and his followers were the greatest show on earth, and then the show ended. But life went on.

A Celebration Of Muhammad Ali
By Gary Smith, November 15, 1989
No other athlete has so commanded our attention. And the careers of few have been so varied, so complex and so little tainted by hypocrisy.

Young Cassius Clay
By William Nack, January 13, 1992
At 50, Muhammad Ali is a much-admired figure, just as he was in his formative years as a fun-loving but purposeful youth in Louisville.

In The Game Of The Father
By Franz Lidz, October 18, 1999
In her debut, Laila Ali, the daughter of the Greatest, was a chip off the old champ.

The Eternal Muhammad
By Richard Hoffer, December 24, 2001
Why, after all these years, does Ali continue to fascinate us?

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