Muhammad Ali. The greatest boxer, athlete and sportsman I have ever known and will ever know of, defined boxing and sports like no other person. Since the time he knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to his incredible knocking out of George Foremen ten years later in 1974, to his standing up to his beliefs and principals and hence being stripped of his boxing license and being made unable to earn during his prime years; to his facing up and fighting one of the most complicated diseases, Parkinson's Disease, he has done and overcome the impossible; and has seemingly appeared almost superhuman.
Ali was not only a superb, brilliant and very gifted athlete, sportsman and boxer -- he has been a leader, an exemplary, great role model and one of the greatest revolutionaries, activists and humanitarians of our time. He was so outspoken that not even the US government could silence or intimidate him. Always brave and courageous, he spoke out against racism, wars, inequality, injustice; especially in his own country, for his Black People.
He was so much against the war in Vietnam as he saw no reason for that (and for any other wars), that he refused to be drafted to fight in that war and was incarcerated for over three years by the US government for refusing so. And yet despite him not being able to train for those three years, despite not being able to earn, despite intimidation and harassment from his government and racists, he surprised friends and foes alike, when after his release, he went back to the ring and regained the boxing heavyweight title. And continued to be as outspoken, as brave and as courageous as before.
One of the most recognizable faces on Earth, Muhammad Ali could be so arrogant and was so full of pride, and yet he was so humble that, throughout the world, the poor and the common easily identified with him and greatly admired, liked and loved him. Although fiercely proud of his color, race and religion -- he preached love and tolerance. The way people loved him, especially children and the poor; and the way Joe Frazier and George Foreman (two of his greatest and most formidable opponents in the ring) were his closest and best friends -- speaks volumes in how great, humane and lovable Ali was. May he rest in Peace.
Other posts on this site on Muhammad Ali:
1. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali
2. Happy Birthday Muhammad Ali
Photo: from Google Images