Bruce Lee fighter said he can’t beat (and why)

Bruce Lee, who always had great faith in his kung fu skills, admitted that there was one fighter he knew he couldn’t beat – Muhammad Ali. Here’s why,

Through Bruce leeBy his own admission, Muhammad Ali is a fighter he thought he could never beat in a fight. Lee took great pride and confidence in the kung fu skills he had acquired over years and years of hard training, but he apparently recognized that his fighting ability was not necessarily foolproof. Lee himself said he couldn’t win if he had to face the “greatest of all time.”

As a Wing Chun expert and founder of his own style of martial arts (Jeet Kune Do), Bruce Lee was a highly respected kung fu master in Hollywood long before he rose to movie fame. Lee, who lived in the area, ran martial arts schools and accumulated a number of students eager to learn from him. Even Hollywood stars like Steve McQueen and James Coburn befriended Lee and trained under him as students of Jeet Kune Do. And when Bruce Lee rose to fame in Hong Kong, he became even more interested in his martial arts prowess. He reached a point where Bruce Lee faced regular challenges from potential opponents.

Related: Bruce Lee’s Original Way of the Dragon Plan (& Why He Changed It)

Lee has been involved in many well-documented fights over the years, but has not suffered any confirmed casualties. However, the actor claimed he lost to Muhammad Ali. According to Enter the Dragon director Robert Clouse, Lee commented on a hypothetical match during the making of the film, when Ali was at the height of his fame [via Complex]. Responding to the constant debates over who would win, Lee said, “Look at my hand. It’s a little Chinese hand. He would kill me.In other words, the boxing champion’s impressive size and strength gave him an edge that even someone with Lee’s skills wouldn’t be able to overcome.

What is my HBO name Muhammad Ali

While Lee was probably able to beat challengers bigger and stronger than himself, Ali was in a whole different class. Muhammad Ali had a well-deserved reputation in the ring and was known to be extremely powerful and surprisingly fast. Although Lee was strong and remarkably quick on his own, it would be quite difficult (if not impossible) for the 148-pound, five-foot-eight martial artist to take many punches from the heavyweight boxing world champion, who packed lots of power in each punch. After all, Ali was arguably the best in sports history.

Regardless of what would happen, Lee’s comments reflect the enormous respect the kung fu icon had for Ali as a fighter. The two never met, but Lee apparently recognized how good he was by watching his fights on TV. Deeply interested in Ali’s approach, Lee studied Ali’s struggles closely, intending to “learn to know how he thinks and moves”. Bruce lee even incorporated Muhammad Ali’s footwork into his fighting style and taught his students to do the same.

More: What Happened When Bruce Lee Challenge His Original Kung Fu Master

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