History | Dec 11 2018

On This Day: Muhammad Ali laces up the gloves for the final time against Trevor Berbick

Matt Christie tells the story of Muhammad Ali's final fight and his eventual retirement
muhammad ali

MUHAMMAD ALI refused to believe it was over.

Even after Larry Holmes, his heavyweight successor and former sparring partner, had hammered him into 10th round retirement in October 1980.

As his bruises healed and his body stopped aching, Ali started to dream again. He blamed his dreadful showing on overdosing on thyroid medication, that by taking “two pills instead of one” he had ripped his body of energy. Just 18 months before, after beating Leon Spinks in his final triumph, he spoke of his desire not to fight too long. But denial had banished reason from his mind.