RON LYLE/MUHAMMAD ALI
Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV
May 16, 1975
Ali won an 11th round TKO
About Ron Lyle
Born February 12, 1941 in Dayton, OH
Died November 26, 2011
Career record: 43 wins (31 KO), 7 defeats, 1 draw
Lyle was one of nineteen children and the only one to get into trouble with the law. While a teenager, he was involved in a gang fight, found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15-25 years in the Colorado State Penitentiary. While serving his sentence, he was nearly killed himself as a result of a knifing, and needed 35 pints of blood to keep him alive. Lyle credits the prison's athletic director with turning his life around. Lyle excelled in many sports while in prison and fought on the prison's boxing team. Two years after being paroled in 1969, Lyle earned a knockout in his first professional fight.
In May of 1975, Lyle was given a shot at Muhammad Ali and he actually out-boxed him through most of the fight. The fight was close, and going into the 11th round. Lyle was ahead on all the judges' scorecards. But the referee stopped the fight in the 11th after Ali connected with a series of punches.
Lyle's most famous fight was his match-up with former champion George Foreman. Considered one of the most exciting fights in boxing history, it was named Ring Magazine's Fight of the Year in 1976.
Lyle attempted a comeback at age 54, but a first round knockout prompted him to retire. He took a job as a security guard in Las Vegas, NV and once again, found himself in trouble with the law. He shot a man he had spent time with while incarcerated in the Colorado State Penitentiary. He pled self-defense and was found not guilty.
Lyle suffered his greatest loss outside the ring. After he retired from boxing, his two youngest children were taken away from him because of his criminal background.
Lyle currently runs the Denver Red Shield Boxing Gym in Denver, Colorado.