Saturday, June 4, 2016


Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) is reported near death in  a Phoenix hospital with his family gathering around him.

He will best be remembered as perhaps the greatest heavyweight boxer in the history of the sport crowned Sportsman of the Century by Sports Illustrated and Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC.    A controversial and polarizing figure in his early years he is now regarded for the skills he displayed in the ring and for the values he exhibited outside of it ... religious freedom, racial justice and the triumph of principal over expediency.

Perhaps his most controversial decision was his refusal to be drafted ... he was famously reported as saying 'I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong - No Viet Cong ever called me Nigger'.    That refusal saw Ali stripped of his titles and his boxing license and a conviction recorded against him in the Courts.   In 1971 that conviction was overturned by the US Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.

Ali converted to the US based Nation of Islam in 1964 and to the more mainstream Sunni Islam sect in 1975.    Later still in 2005 he embraced the more mystical Sufis practices of that religion.

For me and I will remember his 'float like a Butterfly, sting like a Bee' comment along with 'The Rumble in the Jungle' in 1974 where he defeated George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, to regain the title and 'The Thrilla in Manila' in 1975 against Joe Frazier ... perhaps the most brutal fight of all.

Happy to acknowledge Ali for the great sportsman that he is/was.


Anonymous said...

No..the big man has pegged it.....Waiting in anticipation for Flinko and Dodgers posts which if they are consistent will be along the lines of. Just another Muzzie good riddance or the only good Muzzie is a dead Muzzie.

RIP Mr ALI you entertained me in my youth as you entertained the world.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Milord ... so, a Catholic blessing to a Muslim. All we need now is some friendly Rabbi to invoke a few kind words from the Talmud and he's on a home run with all bases covered.

I endorse your farewell.

The Realist said...

He was a funny funny man and a real showman. A couple of his quips: "I'm so bad I make medicine sick", and "Am I fast? I'm so fast that when I go to bed I switch off the light and I'm in bed before it's dark"

Noel said...

His poetry aside he was the master of the one liner.

"Live every day like it’s your last, because someday you’re going to be right."

Gerald said...

"Live every day like it’s your last, because someday you’re going to be right."

Is that for Adolf?

The Realist said...

"I should be a postage stamp. That's the only way I'm going to be licked." Brilliant!!

Anonymous said...

After a trip to Africa ..."I'm sure glad my great-grandaddy got on that boat"


Gerald said...

Here's one that Dogger and Trump would have difficulty understanding.

"I am a Muslim and there is nothing Islamic about killing innocent people in Paris, San Bernardino, or anywhere else in the world. True Muslims know that the ruthless violence of so-called Islamic Jihadists goes against the very tenets of our religion." - Ali, 2015."