November 17, 1971
Muhammad Ali, 1-fight removed from the 'Fight of the Century' just
8-months earlier, lumbers into Texas, with added girth (227 lbs.)
to take on Buster Mathis.
Muhammad Ali, 29 years-old (and 2-months away from the age of 30),
brought his 32-1-0 (25 KO's) record, and #1 Heavyweight ranking
into Houston, claiming that he was now a better puncher with the
Buster Mathis, 'A Fat Bastard' himelf at 256 lbs., had not fought in
32-months, since losing to Jerry Quarry in March 1969.
The 28 year-old, 6' 3" 256 lb. 'Behemoth', had retired in 1969 with a
fine record of 29-2-0 (20 KO's), and at one time in 1967 was being
mentioned as a future opponent for then Champion - Cassius Clay.
Buster was renamed 'The Mountain'.
The New York Newspapers labeled this fight "The Battle of the Bellies"
Though the Houston Promoters called it 'The Mountain Comes to Muhammad'