More than anyone else of his generation, Muhammad Ali belongs to the world. He encouraged millions of people to believe in themselves, raise their aspirations and accomplish things that might not have been done without him. He wasn’t just a standard messenger for black Americans. He stood up for everyone.
I studied all the great heavyweights, but Muhammad Ali was always my hero. Watching his fights on TV, he showed me the beautiful science of the sport, he showed me how important it was to be fast and nimble on your feet, but he also showed me that you had to walk the walk if you talked the talk, and how brilliantly he did it.
A few days after his passing, I overheard a conversation between two woman in a local coffeehouse. They were comparing Ali to a “gorilla” and calling boxing an insane, barbaric sport. They clearly didn’t understand that gorillas don’t know how to box. A gorilla would easily smack up a human and kill them, but they wouldn’t do so through boxing. If you don’t think what Ali accomplished was impressive, I’d like to see YOU try to take up boxing and see how easy it is.
Boxing is pretty sane. There’s nothing barbaric about a competitive combat sport that is regulated by safety rules, is performed by athletes who fight in the ring willingly and the aim isn’t to kill anyone. Is it so wrong for people to want to take up boxing, knowing the risks it can have on their body? I think it’s pretty admirable that these people are willing to put their bodies on the line for the sake of competition. There are far worse things they could be doing.
But that is not all…