In 1979 Ali announced his retirement, at that point having lost only three times in 59 fights, but he returned to fight World Boxing Council champion Larry Holmes in 1980 and Trevor Berbick of Canada in 1981, losing both. Ali then retired permanently.
Ali retired following this victory on June 27, 1979, but returned in 1980 to face current champion Larry Holmes.
After ten defenses, Ali lost the title to Leon Spinks on a 12-round decision February 15, 1978, but regained it for a third time with a 15-round decision on September 15. He then announced his retirement.