Facing Ali

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A few weeks ago I stumbled on a TV program speaking about the life of Muhammad Ali and some of the boxing contenders who had fought against him. As I set there and listened to each persons’ encounter with Ali, they truly had a great respect for him. In each boxers’ case, he gave each one of them the opportunity to improve their standard of living. Ken Norton spoke about how he was financially struggling and being a single parent with his son. He said at one time it was difficult to put food on the table. There was a time that it became so difficult that he called his father and said that he wanted to come home. His father told him no. He told Ken to BE A MAN. His father said that if you come home now you will always be coming home. That’s tough love. As time went on Ken had a few fights which allowed him to continue to provide for his son. The rest is history, soon Ken fought against Ali. Ken’s boxing career took off and he became a house hold name. Even though he didn’t win the boxing match, he thanked Ali for the opportunity.

George Foreman said the best punch of the fight was never landed. Ali landed some combination punches on Foreman as he was failing to the canvas.  Ali pulled back and decided not to hit him with the right hand.He said that’s what made Ali the Greatest fighter he ever fought.

Out of all Ali opponents, Joe Frazier could have had every reason to dislike Ali. Ali talked down to Joe and made him feel as though he was not attractive or smart. Through all of their great battles they both had respect for each other boxing skills. They brought out the best in each other. It was good to know that Joe was able to forgive Ali and show compassion to Ali’s health condition. Joe is no longer with us and he will always be mentioned with THE GREATEST.
Yes, Ali is the Greatest, I recalled meeting him in the late 60’s when I was five years old. At that time he was Cassius Clay. During this time he was in Miami (Coconut Grove) promoting a fast food restaurant called CHAMP BURGER. When my brothers and I heard that he was there, we immediately dropped what we were doing and ran up there to see Cassius Clay. My brothers and I did manage to squeeze through the crowd and make our way to the front. After showing my excitement for him he pretended to be spa-ing against me. When we finished he signed an autograph photo of himself and gave it to me. What I remembered most of all, that he spoke to me and rubbed me on the head.
I will never forget Muhammad Ali and what he represented. I hope that you will take the time to read about this Extraordinary Man. THE PEOPLES CHAMPION.
In closing I was touched by this story and I hope that you will be too. Let’s keep him in our prayers that he has a full recovery from his recent phenomena condition. Merry Christmas Muhammad Ali

WCT 79

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