WHEN Muhammad Ali announced his retirement from boxing on February 1 1970, it looked like the end.
In the three years he had been away, Ring Magazine had continued to recognise him as champion, and armies of fans longed for his return. But with WBA boss, Jimmy Ellis, and New York champion Joe Frazier set to meet for the unified crown, Ali did what he perceived to be the right thing, and abdicate. When Frazier beat Ellis, the former king was questioned again about a possible return, despite his legal problems – stemming from his refusal to serve in Vietnam – remaining.
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