Saturday, 4 June 2016

Farewell to the Greatest

I had a dream on Thursday night (Friday morning) that I instantly forgot as I awoke yesterday morning. Muhammed Ali had somehow featured in the dream and as I got out of bed, I found myself wondering whether Ali was alive or dead - given his poor health for decades and his advancing years I honestly couldn't remember but thought his death would have been much clearer in my memory.

I heard on the radio before I got to a computer that he was seriously ill and he has now passed away.  

For me and my generation, Cassius Clay/Muhammed Ali was the greatest sportsman of all time, by a country mile. He reigned in the hardest sport of them all at a time when boxing was still more about being the champion and knocking your opponent out, not about money and longevity in the game. The simple fact of that is that Ali gave it everything and suffered for his commitment to 61 professional fights, being left with Parkinson's which he endured for 30 years.

His fights against Frazier and Foreman were the world highlights of the 1970's. If you want to compare Ali to the generations of heavyweights that have followed, take a look at this picture of the 22 year old Cassius. It tells you everything you need to know. Lying on the canvas struggling for consciousness is the 'unbeatable' Sonny Liston, himself a brilliant and powerful world heavyweight champion. 

Farewell Muhammed Ali - you were the Greatest.


6 comments:

Malcolm said...

Totally agree with you, and well said, never will be the likes of him again, not only was I ever eager to watch his fights/listen, but loved him on chat shows such as Parkinsons, in my eyes he WAS the greatest in so many ways.

Chicago Addick said...

Nice tribute Dave. Ali was a giant in world sport who broke and crossed boundaries. Heaven has a lot of greats but the Greatest has now joined them.

Anonymous said...

Malcolm,
Would be interesting if that interview was with Tyson Fury.
On an aside Dave, please erase me from your memory.
Tony

Dave said...

Tony,

I didn't want to detract from a tribute to Ali by mentioning this but I had a weird dream a few months ago and woke up thinking David Guest had died. He was pronounced dead later that day having died during the night in a Docklands hotel. Very strange.

Dave

Dave said...

Tony,

I didn't want to detract from a tribute to Ali by mentioning this but I had a weird dream a few months ago and woke up thinking David Guest had died. He was pronounced dead later that day having died during the night in a Docklands hotel. Very strange.

Dave

Chicago Addick said...

Can you dream about Roly tonight?