Ex-heavyweight contender Ron Lyle dies at 70
Former heavyweight contender Ron Lyle, who fought Muhammad Ali
for the title in 1975 and later battled George Foreman, has died in
Denver at age 70.
Lyle died Saturday from complications from a sudden stomach
ailment, said Ron McKinney, a Salvation Army official in Denver.
Details weren’t immediately available.
McKinney, a family friend who hired Lyle to start the charity’s
boxing program in 2002, said Lyle retired from the program last
December but continued to work out at the gym every day.
”I just saw him yesterday (Friday),” McKinney said. ”You
looked at him and he looked like he was ready to step into the
ring. Shake hands with him, and it’s like shaking a piece of
The gym, called Red Shield Cox-Lyle Boxing, would show replays
of Lyle’s fights every Friday night as inspiration for some of the
program’s 100 students, McKinney said.
Lyle lost to both Ali and Foreman in the mid-1970s.
After his career in boxing, Lyle lived in Las Vegas where he
trained young boxers and worked as a security guard.
He made a brief comeback in 1995 at age 54 and hoped to fight
Foreman again in a fight jokingly billed as ”Old and Older.” Lyle
hoped for a better result than the 1976 match in which he took a
beating from Foreman. He also toyed with the idea of fighting Mike
Tyson but neither fight materialized.