Originally Posted by MadcapMaxie
He took some hellacious shots for sure, he conditioned his body alot throughout his career with alot of ab exercises, medicine ball throws to the body and allowing his sparring partners to wail away on his midsection. Theres one clip I've seen back when he was still Clay where his letting someone throw a medicine ball full force into his body while he's just screaming "HARDER!" so even when he was younger he had an iron tummy.
Added to this his extreme toughness, mental strength and probably the most underrated aspects his ability to roll with and block punches.
Goood point. Ali had great punch resistance and even greater will, but he was also rarely caught by surprise and therefore almost always managed to take some force off the blow by rolling with it. Cooper was one of the few who caught him completely unaware and hurt him more than any other pro opponent did.
When people wonder why 190 lbs Cooper managed to hurt him way worse than 220 lbs Foreman did - that's the answer. Foreman telegraphed his punches to such an extent that they were easy to brace for. That's why Ali could take his punches the way he did.