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Ali
June 4, 2016

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 683
Ali

June 4, 2016

I have always been fascinated by Ali  from when I was a young impressionsble lad right through to today, older, (much) wiser (a little) but still holding him in the same high esteem. His death is really sad but probably a relief for him and his family given the horrible way this supreme athlete's body degenerated over the last 30 years. How cruel that such a superb athlete should suffer the ignominy of such a horrible illness. But; even at the height of his illness Ali could still joke and his sense of humour simply never left this brave and gifted man. Ali was a highly intelligent, wonderful orator,a man on whose every word millions  of people hung, me included. He rose from being an illiterate, shanty town drop out to become the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world on several occasions. His boxing skills, his showmanship and his superb athleticism fascinated me and I never missed any of his fights. But; I almost enjoyed his many appearances on talk shows as much as I did watching him fight, he was fascinating to listen to, supremely confident in his own prowess and he just knew how to sell a fight even in his later fighting years. Mohammed Ali, a man of conviction, a man of great generosity, a wonderful raconteur and a pugilist the likes of which we will likely never see again. RIP he will be missed by many millions.

June 4, 2016

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 556
Ali

June 4, 2016

The word "icon" is very much over-used these days, but if anyone deserves that accolade it is Mohammed Ali, who truly was The Greatest. His skill in the ring was matched by his supreme courage & fitness - I idolised the fella, even had my picture taken in the ring with him (even if it was at Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum in Vegas !!). He did more for boxing and civil rights in America than anyone else has ever done - he was revered & vilified in equal measures at times due to his steadfast principles, from which he never wavered, but overcame it all with dignity & humour. After 3 years in the wilderness he returned to the ring, once again winning the World Heavyweight Championship ( total of three times), never ducking an opponent and always giving value for money before, during and after every fight ! A legend known all over the world, respected and admired from every quarter, by people of every creed, class & culture - yes Mohammed Ali, you really were the greatest, and may you now Rest In Peace. John (JKW)  

June 4, 2016

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 683
Ali

June 4, 2016

Seems my description of him growing up in a shanty town is false despite it being reported as such. Seems he grew up in an almost middle class neighbourhood which might well explain his very clear enunciation and his vocabulary. No matter, wherever he grew up he WAS the greatest.

June 4, 2016

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1204
Ali

June 4, 2016

David if you remember the USA in the 50/60's when Cassius Clay was growing up was segregated ,even if you as a black man did college etc you were still at the bottom of the pile.Then 2 or 3 icons appeared on the scene Martin Luther King,Malcom X and Clay on changing his name after refusing the draft for Vietnam ,had his title took off him and was castigated in his home country but this side of the Atlantic was cherristed as a true sportsman and a leader for the downtrodden blacks of the USA . Personally I think his affliction was caused by 1 or 2 many fights as he grew older ,as you remember he never took damage in his early fights but age caught up . Yes he will be missed but he the true Ali hasn't been around for a few years and this will be a comfort to his family that he's finally out of his illness ....RIP

June 5, 2016

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 683
Ali

June 5, 2016

Watched the BBC documentary on him last evening Bob. Fascinating, I had seen much of it much of it already over the years but it was still great viewing. Ali had a brilliant sense of humour and he was just epic in his quick fire responses. Parkinson asked him what he, Ali, thought the establishment in the US would say about his  very vocal black Muslim support. Ali looked him in the eye and replied straight off "Michael them white folks gonna say that "n.........r got too much mouth but I ain't gonna be shut up" or words to that effect. I had also forgotten how long, after his prime, he continued to box and it was obvious those later 10 or so fights when his "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" tactics failed him because the phenomenal leg speed  and reflexes had seriously deteriorated that the punishment he soaked up contributed hugely to his early onset Parkinson's disease. We could talk about him till the cows come home but like JKW said Ali was a true Icon, a man whose like we will only see once in our lifetimes.

June 5, 2016

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 977
Ali

June 5, 2016

As Ali so often said, HE was the greatest. He was telling the truth too, every time he made this statement. He was always polite in his dealings with his adoring public, whoever and wherever they were. Of his greatest dealings with people in UK, I will always remember with gratitude, his respect, at all times, for OUR 'Enery, Henry Cooper. I never heard a bad word from Ali about Henry C, he seemed to respect him over many more famous people, and even in the ring, he was honest in his boxing, but not very fond of some other opponents...it was a job for him, which he did better than any other. It was an honour for me to see him on TV, in or out of the ring, and as I say, he was always happy speaking with Henry Cooper in his several visits to UK. He will be sadly missed, but remembered very fondly by boxing fans and boxers alike. Where will they find another anywhere near his stature and status?  RIP Ali, you set the world alight with your talents in or out of the ring.


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