Mahmoud Fadel (July 10, 1948 – July 6, 2020) was a Lebanese-American former heavyweight professional boxer who competed between 1974 and 1979, who was a sparring partner of Muhammad Ali during the 1970s when Ali regained the world heavyweight title.
Amateur boxing career
Fadel posted an amateur record in Lebanon of 76-2 before immigrating to the United States and turning pro.
Professional boxing career
Fadel turned pro in the heavyweight division on November 21, 1974, with a second round knockout of Simmie Weaver in Highland Park, Michigan. Fadel fought professionally for five years while serving as a sparring partner for Muhammad Ali, winning all seven of his professional bouts during the Ali period. Ali, also a close friend of Fadel's, refused to fight him because of their relationship. After Ali retired, Fadel attempted a comeback after a year of inactivity in the hopes of gaining a world title shot. However, Fadel was knocked out in France in the second round by heavyweight contender Lucien Rodriguez, who would go on to win the European Heavyweight title and fight Ali's successor World Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes 12 rounds for the World Boxing Council World Heavyweight title. After losing to Rodriguez, Fadel retired.
Fadel was born in Dilal, Lebanon, and resided in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he embarked on a successful second career as a car wholesaler for several decades. Fadel still looked good in his final public appearance at the funeral of Muhammad Ali in 2016, signing autographs and posing for pictures. He was married with several children. Fadel died on July 6, 2020, in Battle Creek, Michigan, surrounded by family. According to his son Hassan Fadel, his father had been suffering from boxing related Alzheimer's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia for six years.
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