George Chuvalo

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On this date: Muhammad Ali taken 15 rounds by George Chuvalo

George Chuvalo was never a serious threat to Muhammad Ali. The beefy Canadian heavyweight champion lost wide decisions in two fights with “The Greatest,” the first on this date in 1966 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. However, that first meeting was memorable for a number of reasons. One, it was the first fight Bob Arum promoted. Two, only six weeks before the fight, Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army. Thus, Arum couldn’t find a venue in the United States that would host the fight. Three, Ali, defending his WBC title, had been scheduled to face Ernie Terrell but Terrell pulled out. Chuvalo reportedly accepted an offer to face Ali on 17 days’ notice. And, four, the overmatched Chuvalo made his countrymen proud with his determination and durability, which allowed him to become the first to go 15 rounds with Ali. The champ said afterward: “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought.”
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