Who fought Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title?

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    Dallas born Zora Folley moved with his family to Chandler in 1942 atZora.JPG the age of 10. He lied about his age so that he could join the military at 16 and discovered while filling in for his commanding officer during a base sponsored boxing match that despite losing the fight, he was a gifted pugilist. Within a year of putting on the gloves for the first time he won the 6th Army Championship, and soon he was the All-Army and All-Services Champion. After earning five battle stars while serving in the Korean War and his honorable discharge from the Army in 1953, Folley signed his first professional boxing contract.  
    Courtesy of boxing.com
    Courtesy of azcentral.com
    During the course of his celebrated career, Folley defeated top contenders like Eddie Mechan, George Chuvalo, Oscar Bonavena, and Doug Jones. Many boxing analysists believe that heavyweightchampion Floyd Patterson never gave Folley  the title fight he deserved because Patterson feared losing to him. Unfortunately, Folley’s shot at the heavyweight title came  well after his prime in 1967 when he faced Muhammad Ali in Madison Square Garden.  After six good rounds, Folley lost that match in a 7th round KO. Immediately after the fight, Ali told Folley’s son that his dad would have beaten Ali if they had fought during his prime.
    Folley fought a few more years, finally hanging up the gloves in 1970, retiring to spend time with his eight children. He was appointed to the Chandler City Council, but died soon after in a mysterious and tragic swimming pool accident in Tucson. Folley Street and Folley Memorial Park celebrate the achievements of Chandler’s champion.  
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