A Miami Beach Portrait of Muhammad Ali

5th Street Gym shot is late athlete's 40th SI cover.

When Michael Jordan turned 50 in 2013, Sports Illustrated put him on the cover for a recordĀ 50th time. Next week, to punctuateĀ a much sadder occasion, Muhammad Ali will grace the cover of the magazine for the 40th time.


This particular shot of the prodigiously photogenic Ali was taken Oct. 9, 1970 by Neil Leifer at theĀ 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach. The June 13 issue of SI hits newsstands Wednesday.

On photographer Leifer’s personal website, there is a section devoted to Ali. That page is also a wonderful way to remember The Greatest, starting with Leifer’s most celebrated shot and moving through a treasure trove of color and black and white memories.

Last fall, to go along with 2015 recipient Jack Nicklaus, SI renamed its Legacy award the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. A gallery of Ali’s SI covers can be found here. RIP.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Muhammad Ali’s Personal Photographer Is Still Going Strong

Neil Leifer cover image courtesy: Sports Illustrated

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.