Muhammad Ali has passed away and one of the World’s best boxer’s has exited stage left. He has spent the last 32 years battling Parkinson’s disease and in that time he campaigned tirelessly about the effects of the disease.
He was the first boxer ever to win the Heavyweight World Title on three separate occasions. He was sports first true showman and backed up all trash talk with many victories. Like so many that will write and speak about “The Greatest “is the next few days we didn’t see Ali in all his pomp and glory.
He was of course more than just a boxer , He was a man that stood up for what he believed in , He converted to Islam and changed his name from Clayus Clay to Muhammad Ali. He also didn’t join up with the US Army during the war in Vietnam. For this reason he divided the nation
He won an Olympic Gold medal in 1960 at the age of 18 in Rome at Light Heavyweight. He turned Pro in the early 60s and went on to have a fine career that saw him hold the World Heavyweight Title on three times.
Looking at what Ali meant to people, he was a symbol for standing up in what you believe in , he had unwavering self-belief. He was a classy boxer that could throw a flurry of punches and dance around the ring avoiding anything that his opponent may throw at him. He said he could “ Fly like a butterfly and Sting like a Bee”.
Like many of the stars of World Sport like Usain Bolt , Lionel Messi , Michael Jordan all you need to do is mention their names and it can get people talking and talking about all they achieved. Back to Ali , he really was “ The Greatest “ and although a small number of people may have though he was arrogant and all he ever did was trash talk but he backed up most of that trash talk with victories.
Ali died yesterday and after 74 years on this planet he leaves an incredible legacy that has gone far beyond the Boxing world. He lit the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremony at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Muhammad Ali will never be forgotten and his achievements may never be equalled. He was a showman and entertainer and while many have imitated what he did few if any will ever do things and say things the way he did. He really was “The Greatest “.
Cian Mc Gibney