Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies aged 74

“I am the greatest” He said it first, but it wasn’t long before many agreed. Muhammad Ali – world champion.

“I am the greatest” He said it first, but it wasn’t long before
many agreed. Muhammad Ali – world champion boxer, often
political activist, and eternal icon. “This will be no contest, this will be a total
annihilation” He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay and grew
up in the Deep South during a time of segregation between the races. It was difficult to keep Ali quiet. His fight for equality was one of his many
memorable battles. But perhaps most of all Ali became known for
his fast fists, swift step and wicked wit. “Listen, I’m going to float like a butterfly
and sting like a bee. George can’t hit what the guys can’t see” Just 22-years-old Ali took up his mantle as
the new heavyweight champion of the world after a stunning upset over Sonny Liston. He changed his name and joined the Nation
of Islam, later converting to the Sunni sect of the faith. “In the Islamic religion we have a saying,
‘Allahu Akbar,’ Allahu Akbar means ‘God is the greatest,’ I’m not God, I’m just the greatest
in boxing” Ali defended his title nine times before being
banned for refusing – on religious grounds – to serve in Vietnam. “Why should we and other so called Negros
go 10,000 miles away from home here in America to drop bombs and bulletins on other innocent
brown people who have never bothered us” After three years of legal challenges – during
his prime boxing years – he won a high court appeal and made his return to the ring. “They might put my tail in jail and get me
out on bail after what I do to Joe Frazier. I’m going to do something to Joe Frazier…this
will be such a good whopping, such a dynamic beating, such a superior whopping… ” But it wasn’t to be. Joe Frazier won the so-called
Fight of the Century on points in the fifteenth round – Ali first EVER professional defeat.
Then came the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in central Africa. Unveiling his new tactic – the ‘rope-a-dope’
– Muhammad Ali wore down his opponent George Foreman and was once again world champion
– at the age of THIRTY TWO. “I injured a stone and I hospitalised a
brick. I’m so bad I made medicine sick.” But along with the victories came a heavy
price. In the early 1980s, Ali developed noticeable
tremors and slurs in his speech. Four years later came his Parkinson’s diagnosis
– a disease linked with head trauma. Over time he began to devote himself to humanitarian
causes – sometimes 200 days a year. “All my life, growing up as a little boy,
I always said if I could get famous I would do things to help my people that other people
won’t do.” For a man who has often dominated the world
of sport, politics and celebrity it is fair to say – there was and will always be – something
magical about Muhammad Ali.

21 thoughts on “Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies aged 74”

  1. His body is going back to the dust which it came, but his SPIRIT goes back to God, and he'll be judged according to the flesh. He still lives , in another realm

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