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Fri Jan 17, 2014, 11:58 AM

Ali!

Today is The Champ's birthday. Born in 1942, he would win a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. As a professional, he would become widely recognized as the greatest heavyweight champion of all-time.

The older generation of Ali's era did not appreciate how good he really was, until he regained the title from Big George Foreman. And today's generation can watch much of his career on film, but not experience the excitement that Ali created, in and out of the ring.

I'm hoping that some of you will take a minute, and tell your memories/ impressions of Ali.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ali! (Original post)
H2O Man Jan 2014 OP
Scuba Jan 2014 #1
RockaFowler Jan 2014 #2
H2O Man Jan 2014 #3
Beringia Jan 2014 #4

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 12:06 PM

1. Inspirational as a fighter, as an American, as a human being. His Mandala eulogy was brilliant ...

 

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Mandela. His was a life filled with purpose and hope; hope for himself, his country and the world.

"He inspired others to reach for what appeared to be impossible and moved them to break through the barriers that held them hostage mentally, physically, socially and economically. He made us realise, we are our brother's keeper and that our brothers come in all colours.

"What I will remember most about Mr.Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge.

"He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale. His was a spirit born free, destined to soar above the rainbows. Today his spirit is soaring through the heavens. He is now forever free."


http://www.itv.com/news/update/2013-12-05/muhammed-ali-pays-tribute-to-nelson-mandela/

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 12:26 PM

2. Still remember when I saw Ali in person

I didn't meet him or anything. I was at a Mike Tyson fight in 1999 in Vegas. We were up in the upper balcony, but you could see when people were arriving with their entourages. And then it started. There were chants that started from below us "ALI! ALI! ALI!". Everyone started to stand as we watched him walk into the arena. Then the chants got louder and louder as more and more people could see him take his seat. It still gives me chills to this day. He was that kind of person that everyone appreciated and we were mesmerized just seeing him walk into the room. Just amazing I tell you!!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 07:54 PM

3. For many young

people (like myself), Ali was bigger than boxing. He showed the strength of his character by openly refusing to cooperate in an immoral war in Vietnam. Two of the men he had enjoyed friendships with -- Malcolm X and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- were gunned down. He scared many people (such as FBI Director Hoover), and a part of the American population hated him. Yet he took a bolder stand than even Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad recommended to him.

Ali's fights were "events." His rivalry with the great heavyweight champion Smokin' Joe Frazier will always rank among the greatest in all of sports. And so my favorite Ali event would have to be when, at age 15, I sat ringside in Madison Square Garden for the Ali vs Frazier II bout.

Ali was prevented from boxing in the three and one-half years that represented his physical prime, and so different people pick from two very different periods -- the early and later sections of his career -- to identify which fight they believe Ali was at his peak in. I'd take his 5th title defense in 1966, against Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams. If you're not familiar with it, the film is on youtube.

Ali seemed electric that night. Williams was the biggest threat, other than Sonny Liston, that Ali would fight in the first half of his career. He was big, strong, and one of the sport's hardest punchers. Ali fights him slightly different than he did anyone else. On the film, you'll note he frequently jabs to the body, and mixes up his switching from moving from the left to the right much more than usual. Also, you'll notice that he ducks to the side numerous times in the first and second rounds. He lands his punches at a remarkably high rate. I don't think any heavyweight could have competed against that Ali.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sat Jan 18, 2014, 04:47 PM

4. Ali


I believe I was aware of him from my father watching him, and hearing Cosell go on and on with him. Also hearing his little poetry speeches on TV.

I have been reading James Cagney autobiography, the actor who played thugs in the 1930s. He was also a dancer which I liked him for. He did boxing as a youth in New York and wanted to make some money doing it, but his mom stopped him. He played a boxer in City of Conquest. I saw in one of his interviews that his favorite boxer was Packey McFarland, because he never got a black eye.

Packey McFarland in 1910



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packey_McFarland


Painting by James Cagney






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