Muhammad Ali and the 6 Funniest Boxers Ever
Boxing is not a sport that is often associated with a lot of laughs.
Boxers put themselves through demanding training sessions so they can get in a ring with an opponent who wants to take their head off, and they want to do the same thing. Jokes simply don't come naturally.
But boxers often don't have a filter when they talk to the press, their fans or go online.
Sometimes, they can follow the lead of the great Muhammad Ali and come out with statements that are funny.
Most of the time, boxers may not realize they are showing off their comedic instincts; they just have a way of making people laugh.
Ali was definitely not in the latter group. He was often funnier than most comedians, particularly when he was verbally sparring with Howard Cosell on television.
While they often acted as if they did not like each other, the two had a deep respect and friendship for each other.
Here's a look at six other funny boxers who made their followers laugh.
Randall 'Tex' Cobb
Randall "Tex" Cobb was a heavyweight contender who got into the ring with luminaries like Ken Norton and Earnie Shavers. He finished his career with a 43-7 record.
After his boxing career was over, he used his brooding presence and ironic sense of humor to make a living in film. Cobb was in movies such as Liar, Liar, Raising Arizona and The Golden Child.
In addition to performing in those comedies, he was noted for quite a few funny and off-color one-liners.
When he was asked how tough boxing was compared to other sports, he gave this response: "If you screw up in tennis, it's 15-love. If you screw up in boxing, it's your ass, darling!"
When asked if he would fight former contender Gerry Cooney, he uttered: "Sure, I'd love to fight him. But I have my price, twenty-five cents and a loose woman."
Rocky Marciano had a legendary career that saw him finish with an undefeated 49-0 record.
Unlike many former champions, Marciano did not return to the ring after his retirement.
Marciano was one of the hardest punches in the history of the heavyweight division. He knocked out the brilliant Joe Louis (at the end of his career) and Jersey Joe Walcott.
He also had a gift for funny lines.
Marciano explained his desire to knock opponents out in the early rounds. "Why waltz with a guy for 10 rounds if you can knock him out in one?”
The Brockton, Massachusetts native had a penchant for talking like one of The Bowery Boys, and it made him even more of a fan favorite.
George Foreman was one of the funniest, most gregarious and likable boxers ever.
It didn't start out that way. After Foreman won the Olympic heavyweight boxing title, he bided his time and knocked out opponents as Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier pounded each other. That allowed Foreman to hone his skills and perfect his baleful stare.
He became an intimidating champion after knocking Frazier out, but when Ali shocked the boxing world and cut down Foreman, big George went into a funk.
When he came out of it years later, he reinvented himself and became one of the funniest men ever who made his living as a boxer.
He had good jokes, quick one-liners and a genuine likability that helped him become one of television's favorite celebrity endorsers.
If George Foreman was thought of as a bad man at the start of his career, he was something of a saint compared to Mike Tyson, who bit part of Evander Holyfield's ear off in a boxing match.
However, after Tyson was written off as a brutal and lawless renegade, he had one of the funniest turns in the 2009 movie The Hangover, in which he plays himself.
Tyson is shown singing Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" in the movie before knocking out Zach Galifianakis's "Alan" character with a classic right-hand punch.
It's a memorable and hilarious scene.
He later reprised that role in The Hangover, Part II (2011).
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Roberto Duran was one of the dominant fighters in boxing when he was in his heyday.
Duran had a 103-16 record while fighting from 1968 through 2001, and he held the welterweight, lightweight, light middleweight and middleweight championships.
Duran was almost always stone serious in the ring, but funny things would come out of his mouth, especially when reporters interviewed him.
He had a rather high opinion of himself, and that's when he let loose with this bit of artistry: "I'm not God, but I am something similar."
The only thing to do was laugh after that one.
Two-Ton Tony Galento
In 1939, heavyweight champion Joe Louis fought an unlikely challenger from Orange, New Jersey named Tony Galento.
Galento had won eight straight bouts coming into the fight, but few gave him any kind of chance against the powerful Louis, who was the most powerful puncher of his time.
Galento was looked at as something of a joke because he did not look like an athlete. He was 5'9" and a rotund 233 pounds. In addition to his non-traditional body, he had thick and bushy eyebrows that gave him an expressive face.
The funniest thing about him was his nickname, "Two-Ton Tony."
While Galento knocked Louis down once in the fight, the great champion knocked out Galento and cut him badly in the fight. Galento ackowledged that Louis hurt him in the fight.
"I looked like a piece of meat when the fight was over," Galento said.
Galento would later appear in movie classics like On the Waterfront and Guys and Dolls. He also played the role of Little Pete on The Phil Silvers Show in 1956.