Elementor #1416

Taken from The 10 best photographic portraits

 12 December 2010, Eamonn McCabe.

Chris Smith: Muhammad Ali (1971)

Taken at the 5’“ Street Gym, Miami, as Ali prepares for his fight with Joe Frazier (1971).

Chris Smith, who worked on this newspaper in the late 60s and early 70s, was my hero. His sports photographs won many awards and when I was lucky enough to get his job here on the Observer I was always worried about what he was going to produce in his new role at the Sunday Times. This photograph of Muhammad Ali in his prime, taken in the 5th Street Gym Miami Beach before the Frazier fight in 1971, was printed with a piece from Hugh McIlvanney. The Sunday Times let him go far too early. What a waste.