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Ali Holds Boxing’s Fastest Set of Blows Record with 12 Punches Thrown In 2.8 Seconds

London (L) takes a punch from Ali (R) in their 1966 title bout.

Muhammad Ali will always be remembered as one, if not the greatest, of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. He popularized the “sting like a bee, dance like a butterfly” fighting style. He also has an extremely fast hand speed, capable of throwing more accurate punches in a single setting.

His quick punching ability was at its best when he fought and defeated Brian London in a title fight in 1966. During that fight, Ali was able to throw 12 punches in 2.8 seconds. He won the fight by knocking out London in the third round.

Ali’s boxing prowess and ring generalship was too much for London, which was evident in the first two rounds. London was reduced to landing just one punch in the third stanza, before Ali knocked him out with the 10th of 12 quick punches. That win has improved Ali’s flawless 25-0 record, and he wouldn’t have his first loss in the next five years.

It was Joe Frazier who gave Ali his first unanimous decision loss in what was dubbed by many as the “Fight of the Century.” Ali, of course, would have avenged his loss by defeating Frazier twice in a row. Their trilogy was considered by many to be one of the greatest trilogies in boxing history. Their third and final installment, which took place in Manila in 1975 and known as Thrilla In Manila, was widely regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight boxing fight of all time.

London was 32 when he fought Ali, who was 24 at the time. London would win two fights later with other opponents, before hanging up his gloves. In a 2016 interview, London shared some of his thoughts on his fight with Ali: “I was asked after my defeat if I wanted a rematch with Ali and I said only if someone ties a 56 pound weight to each of his legs. Fighting Ali was the greatest honor. He was one of my two favorites, the other was Rocky Marciano. After I fought Ali I always felt I should have taken him further. I sold myself short.”

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