IN part two of our re-watch series, where I look back at the greatest bouts involving Bradford fighters, it is time to revisit a night that gave one boxer his own sports centre.

Scaffolder Richard Dunn was hoping to adjust the landscape in his other profession and become Britain’s first post-war world heavyweight champion.

However, the man in the opposing corner was no ordinary proposition. ‘The Greatest’ was a tag that didn’t just apply to this boxer’s activity in the ring, but outside the ropes too.

On May 24, 1976, British, Commonwealth and European champion Dunn would lock horns with WBA and WBC champion Muhammad Ali at the Olympic Hall in Munich.

Despite being in the final years of his career, Ali was not a shot figure. In the two previous years, he had beaten the feared George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ and also won against Joe Frazier in the famed ‘Thrilla in Manila’ bout.

As for Dunn, he was in the pomp of his career, after beating the German Bernd August for the European title a month previously. The former paratrooper believed he could do what Henry Cooper, Brian London and Joe Bugner had all failed to do, become the first Brit to defeat Ali.

The adopted Bradfordian, who had dreamt of an eight round finish, appeared on hit ITV show ‘This is Your Life’ before the bout and was interrupted by a certain outspoken character.

Some thought Ali might have been fazed by Dunn’s southpaw style, but his response was typical of the legend: “I don’t care if it is the northpaw, southpaw, eastpaw or westpaw, it ain’t going to matter what paw you are when I get you.”

Despite the neutral venue, it was clear who the German crowd were rooting for, with one NBC commentator saying it was ‘one of the most electric things in sport’ upon Ali’s arrival to the ring.

The Louisvillian was at his peak in terms of popularity and promoter Don King wanted to spread that around the globe.

By this point, Ali had already fought in nine different countries on his travels, winning on each occasion since his return to the sport in 1970.

Dunn was the complete opposite, losing all four of his ventures outside the UK.

As all in attendance observed the national anthems, there was a sense that Dunn had entered waters too deep.

Once the first bell rung, the southpaw steamed out on the front foot, chasing the wandering Ali. A quadruple of rights in the opening round gave the challenger a taste of what to expect for the rest of the night.

The second followed suit, with the champion’s overhand rights causing the damage, stinging Dunn on numerous occasions.

The 31-year-old had a rare flash of success in the third, with a couple of lefts catching the dancing Ali.

However, shortly after, he was tasting the canvas for the first time in the five knockdowns he suffered. Ali’s right hand continued to make its way through, meaning Dunn had to return to his feet twice more in the fourth.

It was now a case of when and not if. Another knockdown in the following round led to the 34-year-old windmilling his right arm, thirsty to end the bout.

It came just over two minutes into the round thanks to a right ‘accupunch,’ a blow taught to Ali by taekwondo grandmaster and cornerman Jhoon Rhee, forcing referee Herbert Tomser to wave the contest off.

Ali was renowned for his ability to predict what round he would finish his fights in and it was no different this time round. Inside one glove was written ‘Ali wins’ and in the other ‘round five’.

Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Bradford to praise Dunn’s gutsy performance and even Ali was impressed, telling the NBC broadcast post fight: “He is better than I thought and I predict you will hear more from Richard Dunn.”

Sadly for the Englishman, that statement proved to be untrue, as he lost his titles to Bugner in the October and retired almost a year later after defeat in South Africa.

The £52,000 the Halifax-born boxer had earned from the fight was squandered on a failed hotel project. A life on the oil rig beckoned, until he shattered both legs after falling 40 feet.

Dunn now resides in Scarborough and will always be remembered as the only Yorkshireman to challenge ‘The Greatest’.