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50 Years Later, Remembering Muhammad Ali’s Historic Return To Boxing In Atlanta

Boxer Muhammad Ali weighs in on Oct. 20, 1970 -- days before his heavyweight bout with Jerry Quarry in Atlanta.
Boxer Muhammad Ali weighs in on Oct. 20, 1970 -- days before his heavyweight bout with Jerry Quarry in Atlanta.
Credit Associated PRess File

This week marks 50 years since Muhammad Ali’s historic return to boxing happened right here in Atlanta.

Ali famously returned to the ring in October 1970 after being banned from the sport for more than three years due to his refusal to join the military and opposition to the Vietnam War.

On Thursday’s “Closer Look with Rose Scott,” track and field Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses and Ron Brashear, a boxing historian and author, take listeners back to that night’s fight — Ali versus Jerry Quarry.

On Thursday, “Closer Look” takes a look at Muhammad Ali, right, returning to the ring to fight Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26, 1970 – right here in Atlanta. (Joe Holloway Jr./Associated Press file)
On Thursday, “Closer Look” takes a look at Muhammad Ali, right, returning to the ring to fight Jerry Quarry on Oct. 26, 1970 – right here in Atlanta. (Joe Holloway Jr./Associated Press file)

A new podcast tells the story of a “million-dollar heist,” which also happened after Ali’s match.

Maurice Hobson, associate professor of African American studies and historian at Georgia State University, and Jeff Keating, host of the new podcast, “Fight Night,” provide more context behind about what unfolded the night of Oct. 26, 1970.

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio player above.