Knight and Haye

By Robert Ecksel on February 25, 2016
Knight and Haye
David Haye has decided to petition David Cameron to award Ali an honorary knighthood.

That sounds like a hard act to follow, but if anyone can follow the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll it’s the King of the World…

“I was the Elvis of boxing.”—Muhammad Ali

Elvis has left the building.

Elvis at The O2 closed in August after a nine-month run. The exhibition included tens of thousands of Elvis artifacts shipped to London from Graceland, his mansion on Route 66 in Memphis, Tennessee. Included among the artifacts were his mother’s pink Cadillac, gold records, a gold telephone, a 1957 gold-lamé suit, in addition to, according to The Guardian, “leather outfits and increasingly bizarre costumes worn by Elvis in later years in Las Vegas.” Even his 1947 tax return and spent bullet casings from Elvis’ visits to a gun range made it into the exhibition.

That sounds like a hard act to follow, but if anyone can follow the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll it’s the King of the World.

Muhammad Ali at The O2 opens on Friday, March 4, and will run through August 31. As was the case with Graceland, where much of its contents were shipped lock, stock and barrel to London, the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, is receiving similar treatment so that Londoners can celebrate Ali’s life and career.

In addition to an “interactive” display of Ali’s ring prowess, the exhibit includes over 100 of Ali’s personal artifacts from the Ali Center. There will be no gold-lamé suits on display, but a pair of gold boxing gloves given to Elvis and signed by Ali in 1973 will be there for your perusal.

Co-curator of the exhibition, Davis Miller, author of The Tao of Muhammad Ali, said, “The exhibition will allow visitors to experience what it was like to be in the ring with Ali—to have him purr, growl and bark at you just as he would have done.”

That sounds fine, but without a jab in one’s face, it’s a little like listening to Elvis whistle.

If Ali is up to it, he and his wife Lonnie hope to travel to London for the opening of the exhibition. If Ali is unable to travel he will be missed, but at least David Haye, among others, will be there in his place.

It’s hard to know what to make of David Haye. Selfless isn’t the first word that comes to mind when describing the former heavyweight champion, but in an apparent act of selflessness Haye has decided, on his own initiative, to petition Prime Minister David Cameron to give Ali an honorary knighthood, an award given to those who are not citizens of the Commonwealth.

Among those who have received the honor are Mother Teresa, Angelina Jolie , Nelson Mandela, Bob Hope, Steven Spielberg, Jorge Luis Borges, Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan, Chiang Kai-shek, Rudolph Giuliani, Edward R. Murrow, George S. Patton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Colin Powell, Simon Wiesenthal, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Billy Graham, J. Edgar Hoover and Haile Selassie.

Ali deserves the award, whether he needs another award or not.

Haye said in a statement, “Like millions of others around the world, Muhammad Ali is a hero of mine, and the inspiration that made me want to become a boxer.

“This may well be The Greatest’s last visit to the UK and he deserves to be recognised formally, not only for his sporting achievements that made him one of the most recognisable people on the planet, but also his amazing humanitarian work over many years that have had an impact across the world.

“Muhammad loves the UK, he first came to prominence here when he fought Henry Cooper nearly 53 years ago and he’s entertained and enthralled us ever since.

“The Greatest has received many major awards and high honours worldwide and I believe it’s time the UK honoured him too.

“Please sign the petition to credit Muhammad Ali with the honorary knighthood he fully deserves.”

If you want to sign David Haye’s petition to make Muhammad Ali an honorary knight, follow the link below.

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  1. Eric 12:09pm, 02/25/2016

    Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, and Patton deserve better as well. No disrespect to either of these 3 extraordinary HEROES.

  2. Eric 11:24am, 02/25/2016

    Can’t think of any other athlete who could have competed with Ali when it comes to worldly recognition. Only celebrities on par with Ali would be Elvis, and perhaps Michael Jackson. As far as the “honorary knighthood” award? How much can an award mean when some of the recipients are named, Alan Greenspan, Angelina Jolie, Michael Bloomberg, Steven Spielberg, or Colon Bowel aka Colin Powel, etc. Ali deserves much better than to be associated with those clowns. Ali was far bigger than boxing, and it has never been the same since he left.

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