now we wake up this morning learning of the death at age 74 of perhaps the most famous human on the planet -- boxing and civil rights legend Muhammad Ali :(
I saw him during his prime on TV when I was a little boy and lived in Louisville, KY for a time when he was the reigning undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World
There was nobody like him -- there are many valid reasons why he was the greatest of all time and probably the most universally loved man of all time, too
I wrote this short piece about him 9 years ago . . . the Greatest of All Time? Actually, I believe that's true
Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)
He was a tremendous fighter, who was absolutely unbelievable when he was young--quick as a cat with skills not normally associated with a Heavyweight. He lost his prime time years as a boxer, too, because he was man enough (and I believe it was because he was a man and NOT a coward) to stand up for what he believed in with the Army and Vietnam.
He could have been a poster child and never done anything but box and give speeches, but he refused and he has always, to me anyway, been a man of great character who has stood up for people and given a lot of people hope for a brighter future.
His gift for language, his looks, his speed (FAST--like a GREAT middleweight) were incredible. Ali was an artist in the ring--not some big killing machine like Liston but a brilliant fighter who could adapt and box however he needed to in order to win.
His stuff with Cosell, his poetry, the Ali Shuffle. I love Leonard and I loved Hagler as a pure fighter and there are many fantastic fighters but I am old enough to have watched him when he was young and there is nobody like him.
I believe he is bigger than boxing, but judged only as a fighter he is one of the very best. Ever.
To me, he is the GREATEST of all time.
(Originally Posted: August 23, 2007)