04 May 2020

Muhammad Ali would not have been able to cope with Tyson Fury if they'd met, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum claims

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali would not have competed with modern day heavyweights such as Tyson Fury, according to the promoter of both men, Bob Arum.

The 88-year-old Hall of Famer brought Ali over to the UK in 1966 to fight Henry Cooper at Arsenal's old Highbury stadium.

Almost 44 years later in February of this year, Arum was promoting Fury as he fought Deontay Wilder in a rematch of their controversial draw in December 2018.

Fury won the fight as he stopped Wilder inside seven rounds to capture the WBC belt, and Arum believes even the self-proclaimed ‘greatest’ would have struggled to deal with 'The Gypsy King’.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "I look at Ali, I look at Foreman when he won the title when he was 45, I look at Fury.

"How would Ali have done with Fury? That's a question I wrestle with. The Ali before the three-and-a-half years out was absolutely superb. Nobody could touch him, he was so fast.

Ali, known as the greatest, but Bob Arum believes he would struggle against Tyson Fury (PA Images)

"Ali was 6ft 3in and the guys he fought were about the same size. How would he do against a 6ft 9in guy who is an incredible boxer with great footwork?

"I can't see Ali competing with a 6ft 9in guy like Fury. We had big guys in the old days but they were slow, lumbering. They were jokes who couldn't fight, they were just big. It's all changing. Look at Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder. They are huge guys.

"But maybe if Ali was in this era he would be 6ft 6in instead of 6ft 3in because of the nutrition. Everything has changed."

Ali hung up his gloves in 1981 after a 21-year boxing career which ended with a record of 56 victories and five defeats.

Fury remains unbeaten in 31 professional contests, with the only blemish on his record coming in his draw against Wilder.

However, Ali was notorious for having fought everyone in his era - George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, Ken Norton.

And while Fury holds two of the biggest heavyweight victories in recent times against Wilder and Wladimir Klitschko, he is still yet to fight Anthony Joshua, who holds the other three recognised versions of the heavyweight title.

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