It’s now been over a year since the passing of Muhammed Ali and the world still mourns the loss of “The Greatest”.
When a personality as big as Ali’s disappears from this world, a vacuum is inevitably left in its place; fighters will come and go but it’s unlikely that anyone will ever match Ali.
It’s an almost unanimous opinion in the fight world that he was the best boxer of all time but was he the best fighter of all time too?
A classic pastime of fight fans is to debate hypothetical matchups between different opponents and Muhammed Ali vs. Bruce Lee is one such matchup that fans still argue over.
Obviously, the two are very different sizes and have very different fighting styles but that doesn’t get in the way of a good debate about who would have come out on top if the pair ever did lock horns.
Well, it turns out that none other than Bruce Lee, himself, weighed in on the subject. Enter the Dragon director Robert Clouse recalls what Lee said to him about a fight with Ali.
“Another time Yeung went to see Bruce at Golden Harvest Studios. Bruce was screening a Cassius Clay documentary. Ali was a world heavyweight champion at the time and Bruce saw him as the greatest fighter of them all. The documentary showed Ali in several of his fights. Bruce set up a wide full-length mirror to reflect Ali’s image from the screen. Bruce was looking into the mirror, moving along with Ali.
“Bruce’s right hand followed Ali’s right hand, Ali’s left foot followed Bruce’s left food. Bruce was fighting in Ali’s shoes. ‘Everybody says I must fight Ali someday.’ Bruce said, ‘I’m studying every move he makes. I’m getting to know how he thinks and moves.’ Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali. ‘Look at my hand,’ he said. ‘That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me!’”
So Lee didn’t think he’d be in with a shot against the much larger Ali (although he was a typically modest person). What do you guys reckon? Would Ali have punched his lights out or would the insane speed of Lee have caught the big man out?