Jim Brown is one of the most respected NFL players in the history of professional football. During his decade-long stint with the Cleveland Browns during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Brown made nine Pro Bowl teams, won eight NFL rushing titles, and was named MVP three times. But, did you know that, back in the '60s, he wanted to try and conquer the boxing world, too?

According to a new Sports Illustrated piece on boxing promoter Bob Arum, there was a time when Brown wanted to compete in a high-profile boxing match. Specifically, he wanted to stage a fight with Muhammad Ali, because he thought that it would be something that people would want to see. Additionally, he thought he had a real chance to beat the heavyweight champion. But, as Arum told SI's Chris Mannix, those thoughts quickly went out the window after a brief meeting between Brown and Ali.

"So I went to talk to Ali," Arum told Mannix for the story. "He says, 'Jim wants to do what? Bring him here.' So I took him to Hyde Park in London, where Ali used to run. Ali said, 'Jimmy, here's what we're going to do: You hit me as hard as you can.' So Brown starts swinging and swinging, and he can't hit him. He's swinging wildly and not even coming close. This goes on for, like, 30 seconds. Then Ali hits him with this quick one-two to his face. Jimmy just stops and says, 'OK, I get the point.'"

And that, as they say, was that. The rest of Mannix's story is definitely worth reading, too. Check it out over here.

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[via Yahoo! Sports Boxing Experts Blog]