Ali gone but never forgotten


The greatest of all time has departed.

Mitchell Carman

Muhammad Ali passed away earlier this month and left arguably the greatest sporting legacy we have witnessed.

‘The greatest’ as he was fittingly known, finished his professional boxing career with 56 wins from his 61 fights.

Ali, who was born Cassius Clay, changed his name to Muhammad Ali after the Prophet.

His star is the only one placed on the wall of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as opposed to the ground, because he did not want people walking over the Prophet.

“I bear the name of our beloved Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), and it is impossible that I allow people to trample over his name,” he proclaimed.

His boxing career did however have its controversy.

In 1966 Ali made headlines by refusing to be conscripted into the United States military and was subsequently arrested and stripped of his boxing titles.

He eventually overturned his conviction after a successful appeal in the Supreme Court, but had lost four years of boxing at a time when he was at the peak of his powers.

Ali will be remembered in the sporting community for his iconic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ bout against George Foreman and the trio of fights against Joe Frazier, including the famous ‘Thrilla in Manila’.

But it was his unparalleled charisma and dedicated civil rights work which made him so popular amongst the general public.

Ali was renowned for his trash talk and regular taunting of opponents, both before a match and often during the match itself.

He didn’t mock nobodies either, but baited the best heavyweights in his era – the Golden Age of Heavyweight Boxing- including Sonny Liston, George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Floyd Patterson.

There has never been a more quoted sports figure then Ali.

He used rhyming poetry and clever tirades of trash talk to create well-known, ingenious and witty remarks, and some of the most iconic quotes in sporting history.

Perhaps his most famous came when he produced “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see” before fighting George Foreman in 1974.

Unfortunately, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1984, which doctors deemed a result of boxing related injuries.

As his condition worsened Ali avoided the public eye and was cared for by his family until his death.

Ali was known as an inspiring and polarizing figure both in and out of the boxing ring, but few can argue that he was one of the greatest athletes and sporting figures in the 20th century.

Rest in Peace Muhammad Ali, keep on floating.