Muhammad Ali's All-Time Fight Record

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston and taunts him to get up during their title fight. Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images

Muhammed Ali, who died in 2016, is widely considered to be the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. During his career, he compiled a record of 56 wins, including 37 knockouts (KOs), and five losses. But, aside from his most famous bouts—like the 1975 "Thrilla in Manila" when he knocked out Joe Frazier—many of his boxing accomplishments are lesser known. Muhammed Ali, then known by his birth name of Cassius Clay, began his professional boxing career in 1960.

1960. The Beginning

Young Clay's pro career began on a high note with a six-round decision in his home state of Kentucky.

  • Oct. 29. Tunney Hunsaker, Louisville, Kentucky. Win in 6 rounds
  • Dec. 29. Herb Siler, Miami Beach, Florida. KO in the 4th round

1961. Racking Up Wins

Ali began to win frequently in 1961, including a number of quick knockouts.

  • Jan. 17. Tony Esperti, Miami Beach. KO 3
  • Feb. 7. Jim Robinson, Miami Beach. KO 1
  • Feb. 21. Donnie Fleeman, Miami Beach. KO 7
  • April 19. Lamar Clark, Louisville. KO 2
  • June 26. Duke Sabedong, Las Vegas. W 10
  • July 22. Alonzo Johnson, Louisville. W 10
  • Oct. 7. Alex Miteff, Louisville. KO 6
  • Nov. 29. Willi Besmanoff, Louisville. KO 7

1962. Wins Continue

Ali continued to pile up the knockouts in fights from the Miami area to Los Angeles and New York City.

  • Feb. 19. Sonny Banks, New York. KO 4
  • March 28. Don Warner, Miami Beach. KO 4
  • April 23. George Logan, Los Angeles. KO 6
  • May 19. Billy Daniels, New York. KO 7
  • July 20. Alejandro Lavorante, Los Angeles. KO 5
  • Nov. 15. Archie Moore, Los Angeles. KO 4

1963. First Overseas Win

Ali didn't fight often in 1963, but he did win his first overseas bout—a KO in London.

  • Jan. 24. Charlie Powell, Pittsburgh. KO 3
  • March 13. Doug Jones, New York. W 10
  • June 18. Henry Cooper, London. KO 5

1964. Becomes World Champ

Ali had only one professional fight during the year, but it was a huge one: He knocked out reigning champ Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight title for the first time.

  • Feb. 25. Sonny Liston, Miami Beach. KO 7

1965. Defends Title

Ali defended his title twice in this year, with a first-round KO of Liston in May and with a 12-round KO of Floyd Patterson in Las Vegas in November.

  • May 25. Sonny Liston, Lewiston, Maine. KO 1
  • Nov. 22. Floyd Patterson, Las Vegas. KO 12

1966. More Title Defenses

In an era when it might take months or years to set up a title defense, it's amazing that in 1966, Ali defended his heavyweight title five times, against five different opponents, including four KOs.

  • March 29. George Chuvalo, Toronto. W 15
  • May 21. Henry Cooper, London. KO 6
  • Aug. 6. Brian London, London. KO 3
  • Sept. 10. Karl Mildenberger, Frankfurt, Germany. KO 12
  • Nov. 14. Cleveland Williams, Houston. KO 3

1967. Forced to Give Up Title

Ali defended his title twice during the year—once in February and again in March. Ali refused to be drafted into military service in 1967, was forced to give up his title and did not fight professionally from late March 1967 until October 1970.

  • Feb. 6. Ernie Terrell, Houston. W 15
  • March 22. Zora Folley, New York. KO 7

1970. Back to the Ring

Ali was allowed to return to fighting and scored his first professional win in three years with a KO of Jerry Quarry in October.

  • Oct. 26. Jerry Quarry, Atlanta. KO 3
  • Dec. 7. Oscar Bonavena, New York. KO 15

1971. Fails to Regain Title

Ali lost a close 15-round bout to Joe Frazier in March in an unsuccessful attempt to regain the title, but he did score three wins later in the year.

  • March 8. Joe Frazier, New York. L 15
  • July 26. Jimmy Ellis, Houston. KO 12
  • Nov. 17. Buster Mathis, Houston. W 12
  • Dec. 26. Jurgen Blin, Zurich. KO 7

1972. Wins Continue

Undaunted by his loss to Frazier, Ali continued to rack up the wins, including four KOs in 1972.

  • April 1. Mac Foster, Tokyo. W 15
  • May 1. George Chuvalo, Vancouver, Canada. W 12
  • June 29. Jerry Quarry, Las Vegas. KO 7
  • July 19. Al Lewis, Dublin. KO 11
  • Sept. 10. Floyd Patterson, New York. KO 7
  • Nov. 21. Bob Foster, Stateline. KO 8

1973. More Wins

  • Feb. 14. Joe Bugner, Las Vegas. W 12
  • March 21. Ken Norton, San Diego. L 12
  • Sept. 10. Ken Norton, Los Angeles. W 12
  • Oct. 20. Rudi Lubbers, Jakarta. W 12

1974. Regains Title

Ali beat Joe Frazier in a 12-round rematch in January. Toward the end the year, he beat George Foreman with an eight-round KO to retake the world title.

  • Jan. 28. Joe Frazier, New York. W 12
  • Oct. 30. George Foreman, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. KO 8

1975. Defends Title

Back to a familiar theme, Ali defended his title five times in 1975, against four different challengers, with three KOs, including one against Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manilla" in October.

  • March 24. Chuck Wepner, Cleveland. KO 15
  • May 16. Ron Lyle, Las Vegas. KO 11
  • June 30. Joe Bugner, Kuala Lumpur. W 15
  • Oct. 1. Joe Frazier, Manila. KO 14

1976. More Title Defenses

Ali defended his title four times during the year, including two KOs.

  • Feb. 20. Jean Pierre Coopman, San Juan, Puerto Rico. KO 5
  • April 30. Jimmy Young, Landover, Maryland. W 15
  • May 24. Richard Dunn, Munich. KO 5
  • Sept. 28. Ken Norton, New York. W 15

1977. Yet More Defenses

Two more challengers came calling during the year; Ali beat them both to retain his title.

  • May 16. Alfredo Evangelista, Landover. W 15
  • Sept. 29. Earnie Shavers, New York. W 15

1978. Loses Title, and Regains It

It had to happen at some point: Ali lost the title to Leon Spinks in February, but he regained it in an August rematch.

  • Feb. 15. Leon Spinks, Las Vegas. L 15
  • Aug. 15. Leon Spinks, New Orleans. W 15

1980. One Last Defense

Ali fought only exhibition bouts in 1979 and only once in 1980, but it was a big one: He beat Larry Holmes—who, himself, would go on to win numerous heavyweight titles—to remain the champ.

1981. The Last Chapter

Ali fought one last time, against Trevor Berbick, in the Bahamas, losing a 10-round decision—and his title. Ali retired after that.

  • Dec. 11. Trevor Berbick, Nassau, Bahamas. L 10