With the late Arturo Gatti in the news as he is being considered for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, fans are again speculating about his mysterious death. But Gatti wasn't the first boxer to die under suspicious circumstances. Zora Folley beat him to it by several decades.
Folley (79-11-6, 44 KOs) was active from 1953 to 1970, and fought some of the best heavyweights of his time, being most well known in boxing circles for taking on Muhammad Ali in Ali's last fight before his three-year banishment.
Folley lost to the likes of Sonny Liston and Ernie Terrell, but holds impressive victories over the likes of George Chuvalo, Oscar Bonavena, Bob Foster, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper, having split a series of fights with him.
On March 22, 1967, Folley, past his prime, faced Muhammad Ali for the WBA championship (Ali's last fight till his 1970 bout with Jerry Quarry). Ali knocked Folley out in the seventh, expressing relief that he hadn't had ...