August 6, 1966; Earls Court Arena, London
WITH 13 losses going into a world heavyweight title shot against the 24-0 Muhammad Ali, including a points reverse to Thad Spencer just three months before, the 15-1 odds stacked against Brian London seemed about right. The three-round defeat, which saw a peak Ali showcase his full repertoire before finishing London with a 12-punch blitz, also followed the script but that didn’t stop the crowd booing their man as he left the ring and then the British press turning on him the aftermath. “That hurt my feelings a bit,” London told BN in 2010. “What was I supposed to do with him? I was nowhere near good enough but that wasn’t really my fault.”  

DID YOU KNOW? Ali admitted that he struggled to find his form in the early stages of training camp. His hectic schedule – fighting every two months – was draining and an iron deficiency was identified as another reason for the champion’s lack of energy.

WATCH OUT FOR: The sharp contrast in styles in the pre-fight footage. London’s slow and deliberate attack on the heavy bag is made to look robotic by Ali’s own technique.