Published: 25th February 2022
What happened on Feb 25: The Greatest gets his first world title and Hitler's WWII schemes are set in place
We hark back to a time when "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" was more a technical flaw than absolute genius in the world of boxing. Also, Adolf Hitler becomes a German, finally
February 25 is special for Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who sealed the deal on his very first world heavyweight boxing title on this date in 1964. Touted by Sports Illustrated Magazine as the fourth greatest sporting moment of the 20th Century, the fight between Ali, who at the time hadn't yet changed his name from Cassius Clay, and the reigning world heavyweight champion Sonny Liston was one for the history books.
The match went on for seven rounds and Ali, who had been an underdog going into the match, dominated Liston so thoroughly in the sixth round that the defending champion conceded defeat and did not turn up for the last leg. All of 22 years at the time, Ali was known for his lightning-quick speed and uncanny technique which had caused him to be written off entirely by the punters and pundits of the time. Ali, however, had more than enough faith in himself, as right before the fight, he worked himself up during the weigh-in, and said, "I'm the champ! Tell Sonny I'm here. Bring that big ugly bear on."
Hitler turns German, officially
It was on this day in 1932 that Adolf Hitler, an Austrian immigrant, officially received German citizenship. Interestingly, he had moved to Germany in 1913 and had served in the German army during World War I. He had been appointed leader of the Nazi party in 1921. Within a year of gaining citizenship, Hitler was elevated to the rank of Chancellor of Germany, in January 1933.