Dunn leads tributes to heavyweight hero Ali

Richard Dunn avoids a Muhammad Ali straight right
Richard Dunn avoids a Muhammad Ali straight right

Scarborough resident Richard Dunn has recalled the night he fought the great Muhammad Ali, following the death of the boxing legend.

Ali passed away aged 74 at the weekend, leading to an outpour of tributes from the world of sport, including Dunn, who is chairman of Scarborough Amateur Boxing Club.

Dunn clambers up off the canvas during his fight against Muhammad Ali

Dunn clambers up off the canvas during his fight against Muhammad Ali

“We met five or six times after we fought, whenever he was back in England. That was a mark of the man,” said Dunn.

“He was a true gentleman and he really was bigger than sport, let alone boxing.”

Although Dunn won’t be travelling to Louisville for the funeral, he won’t forget his former opponent and friend in a hurry.

Dunn added: “I’m not going over, that’s a private thing for their family.

Scarborough resident Richard Dunn was honoured in a special Muhammad Ali book

Scarborough resident Richard Dunn was honoured in a special Muhammad Ali book

“I’ll remember him in my own way. It’s upsetting, but that’s life.”

Despite a one-sided defeat against Ali, which ended with a fifth-round stoppage, Dunn still looks back on the fight in Munich in May 1976 fondly.

“It was a fantastic night, one like I had never had before and I wish it was tomorrow all over again.

“It was a great fight and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite losing.

“He was usually very disrespectful with his opponents, but he wasn’t like that with me. He was a great man.”