Muhammad Ali once punched Tiger Woods in a hotel lobby

Boxing great Muhammad Ali shakes hands with golfer

Reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods has revealed that Muhammad Ali once hit him in a hotel lobby, leaving him ‘so p****d off’ in the process. 

While at the front desk of a Hilton, Ali snook up on Woods and gave him a ‘love tap’ in the ribs. The legendary boxer’s punch was so hard that it left Woods ‘so p****d off’ and ‘ready to clobber whoever it was that had landed the cheap shot’. 

The 44-year-old recalled the event in an interview with Golf Digest

The encounter took place before a practice round ahead of the 2004 US Open at Shinnecock Hills in New York. Woods, rightfully so, thought twice about throwing a punch of his own back. 

The 15-time Major champion, while recalling the event, said: "I'm in line at the front desk and I get hit in the ribs, my right ribs. And it hurt.

"And I whip around and I’m thinking I'm just going to hit somebody. I was so p****d. I look around and it’s Muhammad Ali.

"He said ‘Hey kid, how are you?'

"I said, ‘Why did you have to give me a love tap that hard? He was old but it still hurt. And I just can't imagine being hit in a ring for 15 rounds like they used to fight back in the day. It’s just crazy." 

Ali, who passed in 2016 at age 74, finished his illustrious professional boxing career in 1980 with a record of 56 wins (37 KOs) and five losses. 

US-SI SPORTS AWARDS-ALI/WOODS

Woods, later on in his interview when questioned as to whether he contemplated giving Ali a dig back, replied: "No, no, no, no. I was going to lose that one!" 

With Woods’ respect for The Greatest being evident, it is surprising that many other tour pros describe Woods as ‘arrogant’. 

This includes the American’s ex-coach Butch Harmon, who described the superstar as an ‘arrogant p***k’. 

Woods, who is currently ranked number 11 in the world, recently told The Sun that he woke up early on the day The Masters was due to start, describing it as ‘just routine for me’ 

With Woods getting no younger, and having already had back surgery, what’s next for Woods is uncertain, with many golf fans anticipating a retirement on the cards sooner then most think.

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