Iconic February moments in Muhammad Ali’s history

February is for “The Greatest.”

Black and white image of Muhammad Ali in the corner of a boxing ring.

Ali fought Leon Spinks for the first time in 1978.

Photo via Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center downtown is a hub of all things Ali, and we love its “On this Day” Facebook posts sharing sporting feats and history about Louisville’s heavyweight champ.

In fact, this entire month is an important one for “the greatest of all time.” In February 1957, he met Angelo Dundee, the boxing trainer who coached him for 21 years and was in his corner for all but two of his professional fights.

Cepia-toned photo of Muhammad Ali and Angelo Dundee.

This is the image that was on the back of Angelo Dundee’s business card.

Photo via Muhammad Ali Center

Here are seven more moments in the boxer’s life that took place this month:

Feb. 7, 1961 | At 19 years old, Ali — then still going by his birth name Cassius Claydefeated Jim Robinson in one minute and 34 seconds during a scheduled eight-round fight.

Feb. 10, 1962 | Ali makes his first professional boxing appearance at Madison Square Garden in a match against Sonny Banks — who he beat in the fourth round after being knocked down for the first time as a pro.

Feb. 14, 1973 | Elvis Presley gives Ali a jewel-studded robe before a fight against Joe Bugner.

Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali wearing a white, jeweled robe.

After receiving the robe from Elvis, Ali wore it into the ring before defeating Joe Bugner.

Photo via Muhammad Ali Center

Feb. 15, 1978 | Ali loses a match to Leon Spinks during their first fight ever. Spinks would be the only boxer to take a title away from Ali.

Feb. 18, 1964 | The Beatles stopped by to visit Ali while he was training for his first fight against Sonny Liston.

Muhammad Ali pretend punching English rock band the Beatles.

The Beatles met Muhammad Ali at the Fifth Street Gym in Florida.

Photo via Muhammad Ali Center

Feb. 21, 1961 | Ali beat Donnie Fleeman in the seventh round of their match at Miami Beach Auditorium. It was the first time Ali boxed six rounds in a fight.

Muhammad Al and his mother Odessa Clay

February 12 would have been Ali’s mother Odessa Clay’s 106th birthday.

Photo via Muhammad Ali Center

February 2019 | Muhammad Ali’s Cave Hill Cemetery gravesite is listed on the “7 Places to Celebrate Black Athletes.” The list recognizes sporting legends for their activism in honor of Black History Month. Ali received the Liberty Medal in 2012 for his work advocating for humanitarian causes, civil rights, and religious freedom — which also made him a social justice icon.

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