Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, Jack Johnson… the list goes on of legendary prizefighters of whose memories we like summon time and again. Yet perhaps among these greats, boxing fans and historians love to invoke those of Muhammad Ali best.
Muhammad Ali would have been 75 on Jan. 17th. His special day once again revived stories of the beloved, self-professed greatest boxer of all-time. Like many of his contemporaries, popular boxers before him, Ali rose from hardship. In fact, he grew up amid racial segregation, was a descendant of slaves.
But, what made Muhammad Ali special was not limited to his achievements in the ring. He was a most charming fellow, who was an activist, and had inspired many people to stand up for justice. He stood up for one’s civil rights and religious convictions.
Muhammad Ali tributes
When Muhammad Ali passed away, his rival-turned-best-friend George Foreman tweeted, Ralph Ali, Frazier & Foreman we were 1 guy. A part of me slipped away, “The greatest piece”, according to a report by Identities.Mic.
“When I was a kid, I was amazed by what Ali did in the ring,” LeBron James said. As I got older and started to read about him and watch things about him, I started to realize what he did in the ring was secondary to what he meant outside of the ring — just his influence, what he stood for.”
When the undefeated Floyd Mayweather first declared that he’s The Best Ever, this was met with ridicule and cynicism. To compare him or Manny Pacquiao to the “Greatest” was deemed blasphemy.
Ronda Rousey, Muhammad Ali comparison
Imagine the ire one gets for comparing Ronda Rousey to “The People’s Champion.” Do that and his daughter, retired boxer Laila Ali will knock you out senseless.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, Muhammad Ali lost, he’s still great.’ First of all, Muhammad Ali never lost like that. He never got in there and was made to look like a rag doll,” Laila said in a report by Maxim.
“And when he did lose it was pretty much after he had been off for three years. He was in his prime, had to take time off, came back, fought the best, then he came back and had rematches against the best, so please don’t ever compare her to my father.”
No one who truly knows and follows boxing would ever dare to compare an MMA fighter, or in this case, Ronda Rousey to the greatest fighter who’ve ever graced the sport.
Video courtesy: Youtube/Boxing Legends TV
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Knowle West Media Centre