Muhammad Ali

When I was growing up back in the 1960’s and 70’s, there were a few things that were always
constant; on Sundays we always had a roast for lunch, dad had control of the TV remote and
whenever Muhammad Ali fought, he always won.
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942. He became an Olympic
gold medalist in 1960 and the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964, a year after I was
born.
Following his suspension for refusing military service, Ali got the heavyweight title back twice
during the 1970s, winning classic fights against Joe Frazier and George Foreman in the famous
Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He certainly wasn’t a great role-model in his private life. Marrying four times and often cheating
on his wives, he freely admitted that being faithful was not his strong point. But boxing was, and
so was his use of the media to intimidate his opponents.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984, and gave much of his time to philanthropy,
earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. He died on June 3, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona.
He was a superb athlete, a man of conviction and integrity who always stood up for what he believed
in. Whether you’re a boxing fan or not, I’m sure you’ll agree that Muhammad Ali was a man to be
admired for many reasons and that the world is now a poorer place without him.
 

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