Originally Posted by Bogotazo
There's a difference between getting away with not knowing the rules, and knowing the rules but choosing when and how to break them.
I think this sums him up best. Ali knew the fundamentals just fine. Far better than I'd expect some to believe, in fact. He chose not to always (or even frequently) adhere to them because he had the kind of ability that could make a flaw a strength if played right.