Ali, This Day in Boxing

Muhammad Ali Beats George Chuvalo This Day March 29, 1966

Muhammad Ali Beats George Chuvalo This Day March 29, 1966



  • Muhammad Ali 214½ lbs
  • George Chuvalo 216 lbs
  • UD in round 15 of 15
  • Location: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Referee: Jackie Silvers 73-65
  • Judge: Tony Canzano 74-63
  • Judge: Jackie Johnston 74-62
  • Unofficial Associated Press Card: 73-62
  • World Heavyweight Title (3rd defense by Ali)



Ali was scheduled to fight WBA heavyweight titlist Ernie Terrell in Chicago, Illinois, on March 29, 1966. However, about six weeks before the fight, Ali’s draft classification was changed from 1-Y to 1-A, making him eligible for the draft. Ali, facing the possibility of being drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War, created a huge uproar by famously saying, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” He was called before the Illinois State Athletic Commission to apologize for his “unpatriotic remarks.” Ali appeared before the commission on February 25, but he refused to apologize. Immediately afterward, Illinois State Attorney General William G. Clark declared the bout “illegal.” He cited violations of the Illinois Exhibition Act and the Illinois Boxing Act.

“I ran around the country without any luck looking for a state where we could have the fight,” said Bob Arum, who was secretary of Main Bout, a corporation formed to manage the ancillary promotional rights to Ali’s fights. “Finally, I took it to Montreal and then it was Toronto and then Terrell pulled out and we wound up with Ali-Chuvalo.” It was the first fight Arum ever promoted.

Chuvalo took the fight on 17 days’ notice.

On a round basis, the Associated Press scored the fight 13-2. The AP gave Chuvalo rounds two and four.

13,540 fans attended the fight. “The gate for the fight was $120,000,” Arum said. “We got $40,000 more for closed-circuit revenues, and $20,000 for foreign rights. Of that $180,000 take, Ali got $90,000, Chuvalo got $35,000 to $40,000. Out of what was left, I paid expenses and my credit card. There was no profit.”

“He’s the toughest guy I ever fought,” Ali said of Chuvalo after the bout.

Ali was ringside when Chuvalo defeated Mike DeJohn by 10-round majority decision in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 27, 1963. In the second round, DeJohn went through the ropes as Chuvalo continued to hammer him with both hands. Ali thought Chuvalo’s attack resembled a woman watching clothes on a scrub board and gave him the nickname “The Washerwoman.”

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