Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Greatest!

Ali's verbal sparring sessions with BBC interviewer Michael Parkinson are still fondly remembered

Ali meetsThe Beatles before his world title showdown with Liston

My greatest sporting hero is Muhammad Ali and today we celebrate Ali’s 65th birthday.

It seems only a ‘blink of the eye ago’ when my Dad would wake me up in the early hours of the morning in the early 1960’s to listen with Dad on a crackly radio reception to BBC Radio commentary of early fights live from America of Cassius Clay - as he was then – against the likes of Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson.

The picture montage on the BBC Website at this link – click here – show the great man at his awesome best

Wonderful memories of two great men Muhammad Ali and of course my late beloved Dad.

10 Great 'Ali' Quotes:

‘Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life.’

‘It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.’

‘I'm the most recognized and loved man that ever lived cuz there weren't no satellites when Jesus and Moses were around, so people far away in the villages didn't know about them.’

‘Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.’

‘I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.’

‘If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize.’

‘To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.’

‘The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.’

‘We have one life; it soon will be past; what we do for God is all that will last.’

And finally …what else but …

‘When you are as great as I am it is hard to be humble.’


Mike said...

Ali is from Louisville, Kentucky. When he was in a little trouble with the government (for avoiding the military draft, I think) he walked to the middle of the bridge that spans the Ohio River between Louisville and Jefferson City, Indiana and threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio as a silent protest. Later today I will cross that bridge on my way to our facility south of Louisville and I will surely be thinking of Ali and his act. Right or wrong, the statement made by throwing something so meaningful away says so much about his character and his commitment to his ideals.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mike - I remember he was called the 'Louisville Lip' in his early days. I loved his antics and he was the first sporting person to use the media effectively. He was real character and I love the story you tell of him throwing away the medal. Gald you will think of him as you cross the bridge. I think he could have made a wonderful entertainer in show business had he not been a boxer. A genius with words. Thanks for the memories

Tom Asacker said...

Joe Frazier told me on this show that he could knock you out.

See, there you go agitatin'. You should've asked Smokin' Joe what have he been smokin'? That boy even dream he whupped me, he better wake up and apologize.

If I was to get in the ring with's what you might see.

Ali comes out to meet Frazier, but Frazier starts to retreat. If Joe goes back an inch farther, he'll wind up in a ringside seat.

Ali swings with his left, Ali swings with his right. Just look at the kid carry the fight.

Frazier keeps backin', but there's not enough room. It's only a matter of time before Ali lowers the boom.

Ali swings with his right. What a beautiful swing. But the punch lifts Frazier clean out of the ring.

Frazier's still risin', and the referee wears a frown...'cause he can't start countin' till Frazier comes down.

Frazier's disappeared from view. The crowd is getting frantic. But our radar stations picked him up. He's somewhere over the Atlantic.

Now, who would've thought when they came to the fight...they was gonna witness the launchin' of a black satellite.

Trevor Gay said...

Wonderful Tom - thank you so much for reminding me of that.

I rememebr Ali reciting that poem on Michael Parkinson show. Ali was/is enormously popular in Britain. As I read the words of that I can still visalise Ali reciting it - fabulous - an Icon!