ZORA FOLLEY/MUHAMMAD ALI
Madison Square Garden, New York
March 22, 1967
Ali won a 7th round KO
About Zora Folley
Born May 27, 1932 in Dallas, TX
Died July 9, 1972
Career record: 79 wins (43 KO), 11 defeats, 6 draws
Folley first entered the boxing ring after joining the army in 1948 and, within a year, won the 6th Army Championship. Eventually, he earned the All-Army and All-Service titles. He also earned five battle stars while fighting in the Korean War. Folley was one of the first to call Ali by his Muslim name instead of Cassius Clay. Ali joked that Folley would present a problem in the ring, because he was nice, it would be hard to get mad at him. But he was able to get angry enough to knock out Folley in the seventh round.
After he retired from boxing, Folley served as a member of the Chandler City Council in Arizona and, with his wife Joella, raised a family of nine children. Folley suffered severe head injuries in a motel swimming pool while visiting a friend in Tucson, Arizona and died at the hospital within hours. His death was ruled an accident, but rumors persist that it may have been a conspiracy. The city of Chandler dedicated Zora Folley Memorial Park in his honor.