“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” -Muhammad Ali

You might not think that boxing, the sweet science, and physics, the most fundamental of all the sciences, have much in common on the surface. But look a little deeper and you’ll find parallels between developing a unique skill set, solving problems, dissecting opponents and drawing the greatness out of the most difficult problems you can to increase your own glory.

Ali taunting a fallen Sonny Liston in the first round of their second fight. Image credit: AP, via http://interactives.ap.org/2015/ali-liston-fight/.

Ali taunting a fallen Sonny Liston in the first round of their second fight. Image credit: AP, via http://interactives.ap.org/2015/ali-liston-fight/.

Many great scientists and boxers over the years have come and gone: Kepler, Sugar Ray Robinson, Faraday, Marciano, Schrödinger, Mike Tyson. All achieved greatness, but none achieved the same heights as Ali did in his sport. Even the greatest physicists of all, Maxwell, Newton and Einstein, were defeated in the end by contemporary problems (and, perhaps, arrogance) in ways that Ali never was.

"Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica", third edition (1726), by Isaac Newton in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, UK. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Paul Hermans.

“Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica”, third edition (1726), by Isaac Newton in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, UK. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Paul Hermans.

A Newton or Einstein may have been as great as Joe Frazier, but only the Universe itself compares with Ali.

Comments

  1. #1 Wow
    June 6, 2016

    Dolph Lundgren is probably the closest. Werestling and film fame probably come closest to boxing champ fame.

    Wish to know: Who is Einstein of Boxing?

  2. #2 Ragtag Media
    United States
    June 6, 2016

    Lundgren stated that “My dad always told me that if I wanted to make something special with my life, I had to go to America.”[

  3. #3 Paul Dekous
    June 6, 2016

    Oppenheimer was greater than the greatest, he killed 100.000 with one blow.

  4. #4 Denier
    United States
    June 6, 2016

    @Wow #1

    Who is Einstein of Boxing?

    They’re just not compatible endeavors. Einstein was great and all, but if you built a time machine that could transport Ethan back a hundred years, Ethan would crush Einstein in a physics debate. Ethan knows more. Thousands of physicists now know more then Einstein did at his most brilliant.

    Boxing isn’t like that. There aren’t thousands of boxers now who, if transported back in time to Ali’s prime, could best him. There probably isn’t even one boxer now who could.

    If you are looking for the Einstein of boxing, then you are looking for someone who was astonishingly clever in his early career but mediocre later and able to coast on his earlier work. The closest to that is probably Mike Tyson.

  5. #5 Ragtag Media
    June 6, 2016

    Leonardo da Vinci is about as close as you could come to an “Ali of Science”.
    And to do this you have to appreciate his work as a whole.

  6. #6 Wow
    June 11, 2016

    “Lundgren stated that “My dad always told me that if I wanted to make something special with my life, I had to go to America.””

    Yeah, so pater wasn’t anywhere near as s son.

  7. #7 Wow
    June 11, 2016

    …anywhere near as SMART as his son….

  8. #8 Wow
    June 11, 2016

    “@Wow #1

    Who is Einstein of Boxing?

    They’re just not compatible endeavors. ”

    Yeah, kind of my point.

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