March 29 is a date to remember for brutality and beauty — a watershed anniversary in Canadian boxing history.

50 years ago in Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto-born boxer George Chuvalo stood toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali, as bloodshed and meaning mingled in a truly epic brawl. It was a boxing match, as they say, that was bigger than boxing.

The bout was controversial, with Ali forced to fight outside the United States because of his refusal to be drafted into the army and his belief in the Nation of Islam. It was also a punishing test for both fighters. So punishing, that Canadians have needed this full 50 years to get an honest appreciation of what exactly happened during those 15 rounds.

CBC Toronto's Dwight Drummond sat down with Chuvalo to talk about the fight with Ali and his storied career.