Michael Gaffney, ‘ Muhammad Ali, The Champ’, 1978, Richard Beavers Gallery

We were in Angelo Dundee's Fifth Street Gym in Miami shortly after Muhammad had suffered a shocking loss of the World Heavyweight Championship to Leon Spinks. The loss to Spinks rekindled the fight within the aging fighter with a burning determination to win back the belt. Champ vowed to work harder than he ever worked before and said, "I must retire Champion and not go out on my back." Seven months later, Muhammad kept his promise and beat Leon Spinks to win the World Heavyweight Championship for an unprecedented third time. There is a quiet strength about Muhammad Ali and why he will always be known as "The Greatest.” The heart of a champion, the soul of a saint. - Michael Gaffney

Series: The Champ

Signature: Verso

Image rights: Michael Gaffney

The Champ is a perfect trilogy (The Man, The Fighter, The Greatest) in a year in the life of Muhammad Ali from 1977-1978 taking us on a journey with one of the most extraordinary people in our lifetime captured by award-winning photographer Michael Gaffney.

About Michael Gaffney

Irish American, b. 1949, Brooklyn, NY, United States, based in New Jersey