A. J. Liebling was hands-down America’s most celebrated boxing writer, and his observation on why the Sweet Science will never be banned is among his greatest hits, pardon the expression:

“If a boxer ever went as batty as Nijinsky all the wowzers in the world would be screaming ‘punch-drunk.’ Well, who hit Nijinsky? And why isn’t there a campaign against ballet? It gives girls thick legs.”

Liebling was a to-the-manor-born writer for the New Yorker, raised on Manhattan’s Upper East Side who died in 1963. So it’s unlikely he wrote much about Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, who turned pro in 1961 and became heavyweight champ in 1964.

And too bad he never met George Bochetto.

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