Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali never got in the ring together, but Bruce believed he couldn’t win in a fight versus the champion boxer. In a excerpt from the book The Making of Enter the Dragon, Bruce is quoted saying:
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.”
For the record, Bruce Lee was 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds, while Muhammad Ali was 6-foot-3 and more than 200 pounds during their respective heydays. Although we’ll never know what would really happen in a fight against each other, who do you think would win?