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Ralph’s new book on Muhammad Ali packs a real punch





A former amateur boxer from North Lopham has written his 13th book on the sport focusing on one of the greatest fighters the world has ever seen.

Ralph Oates’ Muhammad Ali: The Man Who Changed Boxing, looks at the legendary fighter who was the first to win the world heavyweight championship title on three separate occasions.

The 76-year-old writer, who won 37 of his 40 fights when he boxed in Essex from the ages of 10 to 15 before having to give up due to shortsightedness, said he hoped fight fans would enjoy his new book.

Author Ralph Oates has published his 13th book on boxing, this time he has looked at Muhammad Ali. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2024
Author Ralph Oates has published his 13th book on boxing, this time he has looked at Muhammad Ali. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2024

The author said: “I followed Ali, like everyone did back then who loved boxing, for many years and there are many other books out about him but this one is different because I think it is a fresh look at him.”

Asked what it was about Ali that made him want to write a book about him, Mr Oates added: “His approach was different to all aspects of the sport compared to those that had gone before him – he was really fluent and very good with his words in the run up to a fight which made him way ahead of his time.

“He was clean cut and, even when he was boasting about what round he was going to stop people in, most of the time he backed that up.

“Ali also never tried to dodge any of his opponents, he would always meet them face to face in the ring.”

Mr Oates is considered by many as an expert of the sport, having written pieces for The British Boxing Board of Control Yearbook, articles for the British Boxing Journal and he was the boxing consultant for the Guinness World Records between 2012 and 2014.

He said he would be giving the royalties of this publication to the Ringside Charitable Trust, a home for former boxers who have fallen on hard times.

He added: “I thought as someone who has done the sport and loves everything about it, this was a great way to give something back to it.”

Ralph Oates’ Muhammad Ali: The Man Who Changed Boxing is out now and available to buy on Amazon.



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