SCIENCE

'Muhammad Ali Goes To Mars' VIDEO: What Would It Be Like To Box On Red Planet?

07/03/2013 07:11 am ET | Updated Nov 11, 2013

We've landed rovers on Mars -- and soon people may follow. But what would it be like if heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali had made his way to the Red Planet during the prime of his boxing career?

Ali actually boasted that he would fight on Mars in a long-lost 1966 interview that resurfaced recently as part of the PBS series "Blank on Blank."

"We'd estimate our time of getting there in about 10 years," Ali said in the interview. "I'll be 10 years older, but I'll still be in good shape. I expect the fight to go about 12 seconds."

Ali was joking, of course. But what would it really be like to box on Mars?

To reach the planet, it wouldn't take a decade. A journey to Mars takes about 150 to 300 days, according to Universe Today. Once you got there, your body would feel more like a "butterfly," even if you're not able to "float" like one here on Earth.

"Martian gravity is about one-third Earth gravity," planetary scientist Dr. Steve Squyres, professor of astronomy at Cornell University, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Let's see. In 1966 Ali boxed at a weight of about 213 pounds. On Mars, that would have been about 80 pounds, according to a fun weight calculator featured on the website of The Exploratorium in San Francisco.

But if Mars would have turned a heavyweight boxer like Ali into a lightweight, that doesn't mean he would have punched like one.

"The only thing that's different in reduced gravity is that you weigh less," Squyres said. "Things like strength, quickness, and body mass all stay the same."

Of course, Ali wouldn't have been able to naturally breathe on Mars, but as the champ himself once said: "The man who has no imagination has no wings."

Infographic by Jan Diehm for The Huffington Post.

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