Pic of the Day: Rocky III frame echoes classic Ali vs. Williams photo

Rocky IIIWhile gorging myself on Rocky movies a few weeks back – trying to beat the clock on their expiration from Netflix – I came upon this shot in Rocky III (1982) that reminded me of Neil Leifer’s memorable bird’s eye view from the Ali vs. Williams 1966 title fight at the Houston Astrodome.

Ali scored a third-round TKO over Cleveland “Big Cat” Williams that night to retain his heavyweight championship. I’ve been aware of this photo – taken by a camera rigged 80 feet above the ring – for years, but had never heard much about the man splayed on the canvas. Williams apparently fought Ali with a bullet lodged in his hip and sans one kidney, both the result of a policeman’s bullet fired into his abdomen during a traffic stop in 1964.

Here’s the fight in it’s entirety:

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