Zora Folley’s Son Remembers

By Robert Ecksel on March 27, 2012
Zora Folley’s Son Remembers
Ali liked Folley and said, "How am I ever going to get mad at him and build up this fight?"


He was 14 years old at the time. The date was March 22, 1967, and Zora Folley Jr. traveled from Arizona to New York’s Madison Square Garden to watch his dad fight Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight championship of the world.

Folley’s best days were behind him when he fought The Greatest. His record at the time was 74-7-4. Ali was undefeated at 28-0.

Folley gave it his all that night, but his all was not enough. Ali KO’d him at 1:48 of the seventh round.

“I cried after that fight,” Folley Jr. told azcentral.com. “I think any kid would have. Ali told me to be proud of my father. He said if that fight had been 10 years earlier for my dad, the outcome might have been different.”

Ali ran hot and cold when it came to respecting is opponents. But he respected Folley, and not just for his skills and fighting heart.

“He calls me Muhammad Ali,” the former Cassius Clay said at the time, “thanks me all the time for giving him a chance. How am I ever going to get mad at him and build up this fight?”

After he fought Folley, Ali went on his three-year hiatus.

Folley had 10 more fights before retiring in 1970 with a 79-11-6 (43 KOs) record.

“Every fighter’s goal is to become a champion. Dad finally got his opportunity to fight for the championship and he lost. But he sure gave a good account of himself for seven rounds. He gave a very good account of himself.”

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  1. TEX HASSLER 07:13am, 04/01/2012

    Zora was a top contender in the 50’s & 60’s. If Floyd Patterson’s management had let Floyd fight Foley, Zora might have been a champion. He always did his best and was an asset to boxing. He is not forgotten.

  2. the thresher 05:40am, 03/28/2012

    Nice one

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 08:20pm, 03/27/2012

    Warm and loving remembrance of his father…..through the years I for one have had the feeling that Zora may have been a tad too thankful and respectful for his chance. I still have visions of this experienced, highly skilled and talented boxer/puncher literally serving himself up to the Great One for the coup de gras after “giving a good account of himself”.

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