I have been so sad with the passing of Boxing Greatest Hits. Muhammed Ali. He was quite a superstar and the most famous and outspoken sports figure of our era. I was impressed at a young age. 7 yrs old when I watched my first boxing match with Muhammed Ali. I was a fan for life of Muhammed Ali and Boxing till the day I die I expect.
I had the opportunity to actually meet Muhammed Ali in person at one of his first interviews after his parkinsons had started eating away at him and his speaking.
It was in Memphis Tennessee at the Omni Hotel. And Ali had more familiar faces as his entourage / Security crew. These guys were serious about their boss’s every need and nothing short of patting us down if necessary.
I was 2nd to last in line for his autograph and his security crew – very respectful and professional watched our every move.
Mr Ali took my hand gingerly and shook it smiling. I was so nervous I stuttered. Mr Ali There is no such sport as boxing without you. You made boxing entertaining and watchable. And you are the hardeest hitter in boxing to this very day nobody hits as hard as you. And God Bless you Cassius Clay you are still and will always be the Greatest boxer who ever lived to fight. Nobody would ever dare step up to your plate and try to take your throne you are the the King. Truly amazing that you could make a fan out of a seven year old girl who still has to cover her eyes when you throw a punch because I am afraid you will sever their head from their body with your fist. But I still watch and close my eyes or cover my ears and I am an adult now. Thank you for so many thrills in the boxing ring I regret you are now retired from your sport.
He smiled a great big Ali smile that would just take your breath away seeing it in reality Television back in those days did nobody any justice. Watching this man sign his name let me tell you anyone on steroids could never look as naturally cut as this man still was. He was fighting his personal battle with the disease yet he looked spectacular – not frail or thinning he looked larger than life and ripped – ready for his next fight. When he stood up he thanked everybody for being his fans when we should have been thanking him for allowing us to bother him in his darkest days. He was very patient, polite, full of grace, well mannered with a security crew that were a fine operating machine ready to take out any crazed fans meaning harm to him. This man was wearing Basketball type shorts and a hawaiian style shirt coming in from the pool.
Ali was a for real a “Mighty Man of Stature” according to the words from the :The Most High God” with the Almighty. You just knew it the moment you came in contact with him that there was something about this man that made him greater and more authentic than anybody in the room.
That was the greatest moment of my life to meet a superstar who finally announced his retirement yet still looked ready to hit harder than any boxer after him.
His lack of cowardice gave him his grace…..
My condolences to his family who were blessed so much to be in his presence everyday of their lives. In the presence of The Most Highs “Mighty man of Stature” God Bless you family of The Great Cassius Clay…..