• July 23, 2024

On This Day: Muhammad Ali Emerges Victorious in a Memorable and Exciting Battle Against Ron Lyle

Ron Lyle proved to be a formidable contender, swiftly climbing the ranks with remarkable speed. Within just four years as a professional boxer, after overcoming a period of incarceration, he amassed an impressive record of 30 wins, 2 losses (against Jerry Quarry and Jimmy Young), and 1 draw (against Gregorio Peralta). Following his defeat to Young, Lyle was selected as Muhammad Ali’s opponent, presenting a formidable challenge for the 33-year-old Ali.

This information was well-known even before the commencement of the fight, and as the rounds progressed, it became increasingly evident. Despite Ali’s usual tactics, antics, and strategies falling short one by one, Lyle remained in control at the center of the ring. This situation sparked a sense of urgency within Ali’s corner, recognizing the need to adapt and respond to the formidable challenge posed by Lyle.


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Ali always had the ability to mount a late comeback, and Lyle inadvertently played a part by exerting significant energy in the first ten rounds, which resulted in a considerable advantage for him on the scorecards. In the 11th round, Ali emerged with a resolute determination to reverse the situation, and he found more success than he had anticipated.

As Ali managed to trap Lyle against the ropes, the outcome became apparent. Ali unleashed a flurry of punches that forced Lyle into a defensive stance. With a series of well-placed blows, Ali overwhelmed Lyle, prompting referee Eddie Hernandez to intervene and stop the bout. Despite Lyle’s lead of up to six points on two scorecards, the fight came to an end.


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Ali successfully defended his Ring championship and subsequently embarked on one of the most physically demanding phases of his career.

Just over a month later, he returned to the ring in Malaysia for a bout against Joe Bugner. Then, four months following that fight, he pushed his body to its limits in the renowned “Thrilla in Manila,” his third encounter with Joe Frazier.

The third fight with Ken Norton, the intense showdown with Ernie Shavers, the consecutive title matches against Leon Spinks, and the ultimately career-ending clash with former sparring partner Larry Holmes were all events that lay ahead in Ali’s journey.


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Lyle still had some remarkable moments awaiting him, notably his unforgettable and legendary heavyweight encounter against fellow former inmate and powerful striker Earnie Shavers.

However, his match against Ali remains the sole opportunity he had for a championship title, and for both fighters, it stands out as one of the greatest challenges they encountered throughout their respective careers.



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