Muhammad Ali once stopped an opponent after throwing 12 punches in 2.8 seconds

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Muhammad Ali is widely regarded by many as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time.

He is a three-time heavyweight champion, fought in some of the biggest and best fights in boxing history, and beat 21 boxers in title bouts; a record that stood for 35 years.

Ali packed a powerful and rapid punch as well, as recently resurfaced footage shows.

The clip, which was posted on Reddit earlier this week, shows Ali reeling off 12 punches in just 2.8 seconds in a 1966 heavyweight title bout against Brian London, potentially the fastest set of blows ever recorded.

Unsurprisingly, Ali won the bout, knocking London out in the third round. He started the first two rounds well, with London reportedly only landing one punch in the fight, before completing the knockout with the 10th of the quickfire 12 punches.

The win extended Ali’s unbeaten record to 25-0, and he would not lose his first professional bout for another five years; Joe Fraizer defeating him by unanimous decision in the ‘Fight of the Century’.

He would, of course, gain his revenge on Fraizer, winning two bouts against him in subsequent years.

(Scroll to 1:05 in the video below to see Ali's impressive punches in bunches)

London, meanwhile, was aged 32 at the time of the Ali fight, eight years older than his opponent, and would only win a further two fights before retirement.

He had, however, enjoyed a fine boxing career, winning 37 of his 58 professional fights as well as successfully defeating Joe Erskine to win the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title in 1958.

When interviewed about the Ali fight in 2016, he said: “I was asked after my defeat if I wanted a rematch with Ali and I said only if someone ties a 56 pound weight to each of his legs.

“Fighting Ali was the greatest honour. He was one of my two favourites, the other was Rocky Marciano. After I fought Ali I always felt I should have taken him further. I sold myself short.”

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