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Simply The Greatest
HBO Boxing Tribute
As young kid I had a hard time really watching sports although Football, Basketball and Baseball were very popular. I didn’t become a fan of those sports until I became a teenager but there was one particular sport that I did watch and that was boxing. I loved to watch old ESPN Classic fights of Muhammad Ali.
Once known as Cassius Clay he was tremendous inside the ring with his quick jabs and hooks. He danced around opponents and taunted them by letting them know he was the greatest. As a kid who never really watched sports I found him fascinating to the point I wanted to learn everything I could about him. I seen documentaries and read books on his impact as a famous boxer. Then I realized his impact when I became a teenager that his agenda was to push for others to be great. From a distance Muhammad Ali has been a shining light in my life and a symbol to not give up even if one feels defeated. Muhammad Ali always had certain type swag when he talked in his interviews that I found intriguing. Ali would come up with a rhyme that would have the crowd laughing and blow people away with his showmanship in press conferences. He spoke his mind on race issues that were not very popular in the 1960’s. Ali even chose to not participate in the Vietnam War in 1967 because of his beliefs as a Muslim. The act in itself was very defiant, especially for a black man in that era. Ali sacrificed three years of his career until he’s court case against the United States was overturned.
HBO Boxing Analysts Remembers Muhammad Ali
The former Heavyweight champion of the world persevered during those hard times because he couldn’t earn a living inside of the ring. This was very fascinating to me because no one in the history of sports would have given up their career for a cause. I watched a lot of his fights throughout the years but his standout match was when he fought George Foreman in Zaire. I seen the fight plenty of times but I never realized that he was an underdog in the match. Amazingly Ali was able to pull off an upset against George because he outsmarted him in the ring. The impact of that truly stood out and was depicted perfectly in the Ali 2001 movie. Muhammad Ali had a lot of other great rivalries with Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston and Ken Norton that showcased his boxing greatness in the ring. After losing to Larry Holmes and Trever Berbick Ali begin to feel the effects that boxing has on a lot of fighters. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984. A lot of people believed that Muhammad Ali stayed past his prime and should have given up boxing after his third fight against Joe Frazier. Ali spent the rest of his life fighting Parkinson’s disease and dedicating his life to peace. As one of the greatest Heavy Weight champions of all time Ali blessed us with his greatness inside the ring and out. Thank you for the memories you will be missed.
Dick Enberg’s Tribute
Stephen A Smith with Michael Wilbon
Stephen A Smith on SportsCenter
Teddy Atlas on Muhammad Ali