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.
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 Clay — defeated 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.
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.
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.
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.