There never has, and never will be a more popular athlete than Muhammad Ali he was the fastest the greatest the meanest boxer of all time, he was the ‘Concorde’ of boxing and the most charismatic sports personality of all time. He wasn’t just a boxer he was an icon, a negotiator who saved a man on the ledge who was committing suicide, he also negotiated with Saddam Hussain to release 15 U.S citizens taken hostage by him.
It all started in Rome 1960 when a young black kid from Louisville, Kentucky stamped his mark at the world stage by winning a gold medal. After that when he annihilated Sonny Liston against all odds in 1964 he ran towards the edge of the ring and shouted “Eat your words!” “I am the greatest! I shook up the world.
Ali infuriated his opponents with his cruel taunts before the fight like:
- Guerrilla in Manila (Thriller in Manila)
- Foreman moves like a Mummy (Rumble in the Jungle)
- The big ugly bear (before Sonny Liston fight 1964)
A tribute by his rival:
“You know what, I found Muhammad Ali to be one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met in my life. I got beat up in the jungle. We never had any arguments until we met in the ring that night. I hit him with everything that I had, and all he would say is, ‘That all you got, George?’ What a night. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and myself were one guy – we lived through each other. A big piece of me died when he passed away, and I call it the greatest piece.”
Greatness goes the distance this is what he said and what he did. He was a blend of beauty and grace, speed and strength.
Will there be another Muhammad Ali? I don’t think so because no one can “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”