Today would have been Muhammad Ali’s 75th birthday.
How do you write about someone so great?
I suppose I could try to be witty, but then someone could post just one of his humorisms, and anything that I’d have said would be blown out of the water. But, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
So, maybe I’ll use the words of the greatest, himself. Humble of me, I know…”It’s hard to be humble when you’re a great as I am”.
Man, I love Muhammad Ali. I’m one of those people who has the classic picture of him celebrating his first round, first minute knockout over Sonny Liston. Though I can’t pretend I’m hard…it’s next to my one of Simba from the Lion King (true story).
I’m sure you’re all familiar with Ali’s story, but here goes:
Born Cassius Clay Jr in 1942 (changing his name as ‘Cassius Clay’ was his “slave name”), Ali rose to fame in 1960, winning a gold medal in the light heavyweight division of the Summer Olympics in Rome. He then went on to win the WBA, WBC and lineal heavyweight titles. See some of his best moments below:
Whilst his boxing was incredible, he was also an amazing person. He was a strong activist for Black American Civil Rights (he also fiercely opposed the US’ involvement in the Vietnam Conflict) and was famed for his quick witted comebacks and rhymes: “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” possibly the most popular.
Muhammad Ali was a true hero. I would love to be able to eulogise him as well as he did himself. But it can’t be done. He IS the Greatest, after all:
“I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times, who was humorous and who treated everyone right.
“As a man who never looked down on those who looked up to him…who stood up for his beliefs…who tried to unite all humankind through faith and love.
“And if all that’s too much, then I guess I’d settle for being remembered only as a great boxer who became a leader and a champion of his people. And I wouldn’t even mind if folks forgot how pretty I was.”