Ron Lyle Dies at 70
Ron Lyle aged 70 died on Saturday in Denver (26 November 2011) from complications following stomach surgery.
Lyle got a shot at the world heavyweight title when he fought Muhammad Ali in Las Vegas in May 1975, a contest he lost when he was stopped in the 11th round.
Lyle was ahead in the scoring in their May 1975 bout in Las Vegas and had inflicted a purplish swelling under Ali’s right eye by the 11th round. But Ali unleashed a flurry of punches in that round that left Lyle defenseless, and the referee stopped the fight.
Ron Lyle was born on Feb. 12, 1941, in Dayton, Ohio, one of 19 children. He dropped out of high school, and got in trouble with the law when was involved in a gang-fight killing that led to his imprisonment. Lyle proved an outstanding boxer in the prison’s recreation program.
After his release he became an Amateur Athletic Union champion and then turned professional at 30. Lyle was a slugger style fighter with a strong right hand, Lyle, and he won his first 19 fights, 17 by knockouts. His fights against George Foreman was epic and Ring magazine listed Round 4 of the fight as one of boxing’s most memorable rounds.
In his later years Lyle was the head of a boxing program for youngsters run by Salvation Army in Denver. His advice to the kids was ‘if you get into this for the notoriety, for the money and the girls, the fast life, well, those are the wrong reasons “But if you get in it for the respect of your peers, if you fight for the right reasons, it will all come.”