Bruce Lee Once Said Muhammad Ali Would “Kill” Him in a Fight

By Staff  |  06/08/2016

Muhammad Ali

The world was taken back last week with the sad news that boxing legend Muhammad Ali had passed way. When someone of his stature dies, stories are shared, and in Ali's case, some are legendary.

One of the more entertaining is one that includes legendary martial artist Bruce Lee. From the 1980s book, The Making of Enter the Dragon, director Robert Clause recalls something Lee had told him when they were filming the 1973 movie, according to Mass Appeal.

At that time, there were debates about who would win a dream fight between Lee and Ali, some believing Lee would dominate Ali, while others arguing that the boxer would easily knock Lee out.

Clause, however, says Lee wasn't as confident. He told him he practiced fighting Ali by using a full-length mirror... and ultimately came to the conclusion that wouldn't have stood a chance. To put things into perspective, in their prime, Lee was 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds, while Ali was 6-foot-3 and more than 200 pounds.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

Another time Yeung, aka [Bolo] went to see Bruce at Golden Harvest Studios. Bruce was screening a Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] documentary. Ali was world heavyweight champion at the time and Bruce saw him as the greatest fighter of them all. The documentary showed Ali in several of his fights. Bruce set up a wide full-length mirror to reflect Ali’s image from the screen. Bruce was looking into the mirror, moving along with Ali.
Bruce’s right hand followed Ali’s right hand, Ali’s left foot followed Bruce’s left foot. Bruce was fighting in Ali’s shoes. “Everybody says I must fight Ali some day.” Bruce said, “I’m studying every move he makes. I’m getting to know how he thinks and moves.” Bruce knew he could never win a fight against Ali. “Look at my hand,” he said. “That’s a little Chinese hand. He’d kill me."