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Picture of the Day – July 24

World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali looks down over London from the top of the GPO Tower.

Ali had travelled to England ahead of his WBC and WBA title fight with Brian London a little less than three months after defeating home favourite Henry Cooper for the second time.

The pair met at the Earls Court Arena in August 6, 1966 and the 24-year-old American, who had won gold a the 1960 Olympics as Cassius Clay before converting to Islam, proved too quick and strong for his 32-year-old opponent, a former British and Commonwealth champion who had unsuccessfully fought Floyd Patterson for the world crown seven years earlier.

Born in West Hartlepool, London was nicknamed “The Blackpool Rock” after moving to the seaside town as a teenager, but he proved no match for Ali, who stopped him in the third round and barely took a blow.

London later admitted he had fought purely for the money, saying: “Ali was far too good for me. I knew I had no chance. I didn’t try and I should have done.”

Ali, whose boxing licence and passport were withdrawn the following year after he refused to be drafted into the United States armed forces, returning to boxing after a near four-year lay-off and went on to to fully justify his tag of ‘The Greatest’ by regaining the world title on two occasions.

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