Muhammad Ali Wins a Close One Over Jimmy Young April 30, 1976
- Muhammad Ali 230 lbs beat Jimmy Young 209 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15
- Location: Capitol Center, Landover, Maryland, USA
- Referee: Tom Kelly 72-65
- Judge: Larry Barrett 70-68
- Judge: Terry Moore 71-64
- World Boxing Council Heavyweight Title (6th defense by Ali)
- World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (6th defense by Ali)
Ali was paid $1.6 million, plus $200,000 for training expenses. Young earned a total of $85,000.
The Associated Press reported: “Ali seemed content to toy in the first four rounds, doing very little fighting. He then began coming on in the fifth round and started landing with power, although he still missed much more than he usually does. Ali’s best round seemed to be the ninth, when he went up on his toes and snapped home at least 25 punishing jabs to Young’s face. But then he went flatfooted again and, while landing some good rights, he was the target of several hard rights in the final three rounds when Young came on strong. It was the only time in the fight that Young was the actual aggressor and that lack of aggressiveness early on cost him dearly.”
On six occasions, Young ducked outside of the ropes when he was pressured by Ali. He did it in the seventh round, the eighth, the 12th, twice in the 13th, and once more in the 15th. When he did it in the 12th round, the referee ruled it a knockdown and began to count. Young pulled his head back into the ring at the count of two. Mark Kram of Sports Illustrated wrote: “It was unconscionable behavior for a man who wants the heavyweight championship of the world.”
The decision was loudly booed by the crowd. Mark Kram wrote: “There was no way anyone could justify taking the title from Ali.”
The Associated Press scored the fight 69-66 for Young.
No. 1-ranked heavyweight contender Ken Norton scored a fifth-round TKO against Ron Stander on the undercard.
“I weigh 230 pounds, just what I weigh when I’m in terrible shape. I’m 34 and I’m telling you what I did was a miracle, going 15 rounds and beating that young man. I’ve been eating too much pie, too much ice cream. You wouldn’t believe the things I do in training.” – Muhammad Ali
“The reason I kept ducking through the ropes, seriously, was to take some of the pressure off me.” – Jimmy Young
“He looked pitiful. I kept hollering up to him, ‘Don’t blow the money, Ali, don’t blow the money, damn it!’ But the Ali you saw tonight is not the guy I have to fight. I wish it was, but it won’t be. He’ll be ready for me. You can count on it.” – Ken Norton