Ron Lyle and Jimmy Young who shared 24 rounds against one another and both former Muhammad Ali opponents DUAL SIGNED Everlast trunks.
Lyle was born to William and Nellie Lyle. He was one of 19 children, and the only one to get in trouble with the law.
When he was in his teens, Lyle was arrested and charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of 21-year-old Douglas Byrd in a gang fight. Lyle was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15-25 years at Canon City State Penitentiary.
While in prison, Lyle was knifed and underwent a 7 hour operation; twice pronounced dead on the operating table, he needed 35 pints of blood to keep him alive. Lyle credited Lt. Cliff Mattax the athletic director at the prison with getting him interested in boxing and changing his life. While in prison, Lyle had excelled in baseball, basketball, and football. Lyle fought on his prison's boxing team. In his first match, Lyle was defeated by Texas Johnson. However, Lyle never lost a prison boxing match again. After serving seven-and-a-half years in prison, Lyle was paroled on Sunday, November 22, 1969.
Lyle was a late starter in professional boxing. He turned professional under Bill Daniels, with trainer Bobby Lewis.
His first fight was at the age of 29 in Denver, Colorado, against A.J Staples, earning a knockout in the second round. Lyle went on to post a 19-0 record with 17 knockouts, and became the 5th rated heavyweight contender. He scored impressive knockouts over highly regarded Vicente Rondon, Buster Mathias, and Larry Middleton.
Lyle's undefeated streak ended when he lost an upset one-sided decision to Jerry Quarry. He then lost to Jimmy Young in 1975, but was given an opportunity to face Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali later that year, Ali's second title defense in his second reign as champion. Lyle was very cautious throughout the fight. Lyle did not try to go after Ali and knock him out, but instead tried to out-box Ali. The fight was close going into the 11th round, with Lyle winning by a slight margin, but Ali then caught Lyle with a strong right hand, hurting Lyle badly, and then hitting Lyle with almost 20 unanswered punches before the referee stopped the fight. However, Lyle team was not happy with the referee’s decision to stop the fight.
Lyle is perhaps most famous for his fight against George Foreman. Foreman had not fought an official match since his loss to Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle, and Lyle took advantage of this long lay-off, swarming Foreman and dropping Foreman twice in the fight. Foreman knocked Lyle down several times as well, knocking Lyle out in the 5th round after a barrage of punches while Lyle was pinned in the ring corner.
This fight earned the fight of the year award, and is considered one of the most exciting fights in Heavyweight history. Lyle also scored impressive victories over top-rated Jose Luis Garcia, Oscar Bonavena, and Earnie Shavers during his career
Following a 1st round knockout loss to undefeated Gerry Cooney, Lyle retired.
Lyle was working as a security guard in Las Vegas when he became involved in another murder, when a man was shot and killed in his apartment. However, Lyle was found not guilty.
In 1995, and in his early 50s, Lyle decided on a comeback. After scoring a number of quick knockouts over 2nd rate opponents, Lyle tried to get a rematch with George Foreman. However, the match was never made, and Lyle retired from boxing. He currently trains other boxers.
Jimmy Young (November 16, 1948 – February 20, 2005) was a skilled Philadelphia heavyweight, who had his greatest success during the 1970s. Young was very hard to hit, had an effective left jab and straight right hand, and an equally effective body attack. His career record was 34-19-2 with 11 knockouts.
Young made his name when he fought Muhammad Ali in Landover, Maryland in April 1976 for the World heavyweight title. Ali weighed in at 230 lbs., the highest for any of his fights (he would weigh 236.25 pounds in his fight against Trevor Berbick), and was consequently slow and immobile by his standards throughout the bout. Ten years younger and 25 pounds lighter, Young adopted a tactical strategy of fighting aggressively from a distance, landing numerous light blows while dodging and parrying Ali's counterpunches.
Many fight historians have written that Young made Ali miss more often than did any other opponent. At close quarters, however, where Ali's strength was dominant, Young would turn passive. He retreated whenever possible, and often kept his head ducked very low to avoid serious blows when Ali would fight from the inside (the notion is that boxers are not permitted to hit in the back of the head, and due to how low Jimmy ducked there was really no way for either fighter to hit the other until the ref would restart the fight, but at that point Ali wasn't on the inside anymore), and on several occasions intentionally put his head or upper body out of the ring to compel the referee to separate the fighters.
To some, Young's was a brilliant strategy of neutralizing his opponent's strengths and forcing the bout to be fought on his own terms; to others, it was boring and unworthy of a championship bout, with some detractors terming it "the coward's rope-a-dope."
The fight went the full 15 rounds with the controversial unanimous decision going to Ali. Referee Tom Kelly scored it 72-65; judges Larry Barrett and Terry Moore had it 70-68 and 71-64, respectively.
In November 1976 Young beat top contender Ron Lyle in a 12-round bout, winning 11 of 12 rounds on one judge's card. As a result of his loss to Ali, Young had to work hard to get another shot at the World title. He chose to fight one of the most feared boxers in the World at the time, George Foreman, who had begun a comeback after losing the title to Muhammad Ali in "The Rumble in the Jungle". In March 1977 Young beat Foreman, knocking him down in the final round and winning a 12-round decision. Ring Magazine named the Foreman-Young bout its 1977 "Fight of the Year."
Young's next major opponent was Norton. In November 1977, Young lost a split decision in Las Vegas. Young faded in the late 1970s, losing three of his next six bouts. He came back on the scene fiercely in 1981, beating several contenders and being named Ring Magazine comeback of the year for his successes. His lost to Greg Page in 1982 ended his run as a serious contender. He continued fighting with mixed results until 1988.
Young passed away on February 20, 2005 from a heart attack.