One measure of smartness is the IQ test. But IQ doesn’t measure quickness or the speed of a reaction. It’s an indirect measure of alertness, but it’s not a personality test. Ali had a marvelous personality. He was brave, almost to a fault. He was gregarious, outgoing and clever in many ways.
Unfortunately, he was illiterate. His success shows that illiteracy is no guarantee of failure, nor is IQ a guarantee of success .
How about all of the people who adored the man and his talent? No professor is going to deprive Ali of his powerful boxing ability.
Ali wasn’t a cheap shot artist like, for example Mike Tyson who bit a chunk off the ear of one of his opponents. Ali said he had been hit in the head 29,000 times. OK but how many punches did he dodge or avoid because of his mental alertness? So how smart was he?
He made some bad decisions but his record is for being the greatest heavyweight boxer in history, not for never making a mistake. He was the greatest.
He won boxing matches against the best boxers. That didn’t happen because he was dumb. In the end, Ali is in the history books of human achievement because be was one of the greatest of human achievers. The idea of asking how smart Ali was is an improper question. It’s like asking Albert Einstein how good of a boxer he was.
Ali surely was the greatest. That’s good to know.