Ten-Count for Muhammad Ali

By Robert Ecksel on June 4, 2016
Ten-Count for Muhammad Ali
Ali remains a controversial figure. He was an iconoclast. He challenged the status quo.

Other heavyweight champions before Ali embodied the zeitgeist, John L. Sullivan and Jack Dempsey come to mind, but few led the charge…

“This life is not real. I conquered the world and it did not bring me satisfaction.”—Muhammad Ali

Former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali passed away this morning after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease. “The Greatest” was 74.

Ali was hospitalized Thursday with respiratory problems and his condition was upgraded to “grave.”

Tributes are pouring in from around the world. Ali’s story has been told before and will be told again in the upcoming days. He was a great champion, a supersized Sugar Ray Robinson who played by his own rules and never ducked a soul. He fought the best of the best during a time when the heavyweight division was deep. He fought smart, even when his legs were gone, and he was as tough as they come.

Ali exemplified what it meant to be a boxing legend. He traversed the worlds of sport, politics, and culture like few before him or since. He went from the most hated man in America to the most loved man in America.

All lives are a journey, but Muhammad Ali went the distance.

Despite his accomplishments in the ring, which include wins over Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and countless others splendid fighting specimens, Ali to this day is a controversial figure. He was an iconoclast. He challenged the status quo.

Other heavyweight champions before Ali embodied the zeitgeist, John L. Sullivan and Jack Dempsey come to mind, but few led the charge. Ali made his share of mistakes. Living large has consequences. But as he grew from outrageous youngster to esteemed man of the world, Ali’s heart grew, along with his ailments. There are things Ali would have done differently if he had lived a second time, but he got and took his shot, literally and figuratively, and the world, no less than boxing, is better off for it.

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Muhammad Ali vs Cleveland Williams HD (GP highlights)

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  1. KB 11:36am, 06/05/2016

    Hero’s tend to sacrifice for the sake of others. There are not that many hero’s. Ali was a hero IMO

    He was the quintessential “Peck’s Bad Boy.” There was no way you could not like him. He was, “FUN.”  But then, when you peeled the onion, the complexity and humanity revealed itself on so many levels.

  2. AkT 10:36am, 06/05/2016

    My dad admired him a lot. He travelled to Germany to see his fight once, came back and declared that if he ever got into an argument with Ali, he’d immediately admit guilt before it ever got physical (everyone’ll laugh at his joke). In my native tongue, he nick named him ‘afeshe ku bi ojo’ (the one makes punches come down like rain).

    Ironically, it is Ali’s accomplishments outside of the ring that have humans everywhere in awe. The inspiration he has provided to millions through his stance, belief and humanitarian efforts. It’s going to be tough to fill his shoes, but as little drops of water make the mighty ocean, I’m sure that in our little way, collectively, we can make the several differences needed in our communities.

    RIP Ali.

  3. Old Yank 06:49am, 06/05/2016

    His death moved me to tears. His life moved me.

  4. bikermike 06:47am, 06/05/2016

    Very fine writing Ted, ...very nice.  I was lucky enough to have lived through his career…and his post ring career.
    We will remember Muhammad Ali.

  5. raxman 06:25pm, 06/04/2016

    great choice of video - this fight was Ali at his best - before the layoff robbed him of his prime- makes a world class fighter in Williams look completely second rate - shows all the skills and tricks. doesn’t stop circling, never there to be hit but somehow always in range to hit. youre not supposed to be able to throw power shots going backwards but ali could and did
    his latter years were tragically sad but his passing, and all the remembrance events that will follow, should introduce a new generation to his greatness both inside and outside the ring, and that’s a good thing.

  6. thesweetscience 05:58pm, 06/04/2016

    I truly liked the simplicity, yet nail on the head articulation, of yours, the 1st comment on this thread. Almost posted as if u were speaking to Ali himself.
    Also, wow, to be the man that the man, Bruce lee, mimicked and graced within his own martial art. True giant.  Legend of legends.
    I still watch your fights too, Muhammed Ali. Mr. Clay.

  7. thesweetscience 05:52pm, 06/04/2016

    Went to bed with a tear in my eye last night.
    I’ve never been one to be fully impacted when a famous person passes on, since I don’t know them nor see famous people as what most may. Don’t get me wrong, all life matters, and all passing are in respect in my heart.
    There have been a handful of the famous that have sincerely heavied my heart in their deaths and last night may have been the heaviest of all.
    Ali was a giant. A legend. Likened to a folk-tale in my heart. Larger than life.
    In actuality, a man I almost thought would never die, and his passing brings all kinds of realities and emotion to me. I honestly realize that I pretty much felt like I would be born after Ali was, and I would pass on before Ali did. Such a man of legend, it felt as if he would never die.
    Most may say he never will. For he carries on I richly deserved tale forever.
    This was a man that impacted the whole world, brought about the most change, in a time that was change around every corner, every city block, every dirt road road… women, men, boys, girls, rich, poor, ... all around the world, change was afoot. Ali stood giant in what he would alter socially and personally. The best ever.
    In many ways.
    A man of fists that offered even more with words.
    Three quotes will stick with me most, out of his hundreds of quotes.
    I would need to look up the full quote of the 1st one, therefore I will not quotation it.
    But when he spoke of entering the ring in his biggest fight to date, and that he carried in with him every poor person he has walked with, every whino he had sat in a garbage can with, every rich person with which he had dined, and every person he had met along the line. That always echoed in my mind.
    When Ali first fell I’ll the onset of parkinsons… he said to the world, “now we all see, they thought I was superman. Now they’ll be like, he’s one of us. He has problems too”. Again, still echos in my mind.
    Sorry to all for my text book of a comment but Some things really bring about realizations, and I am loving everything I’m reading from you all, it shows what our Champ truly leaves behind. What he leaves for the road ahead.
    I’ll leave ya’ll for now, with my own Lil rendition of the 3rd quote that Ali echoed within me…
    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, even stronger now, wherever you have passed on to be.
    Love ya Champ.

  8. Matthew Atwater 03:03pm, 06/04/2016

    Truely a sad day in the passing of a ledgendary figure and sports personality. My condolences to his family and millions of admirers.  Rip Champion.

  9. dj gaaz 11:38am, 06/04/2016

    much love and respect for a once in a lifetime figure for peace and justice for all sorry I never met ali in person one of the saddist days in my life peace on your journey to allah

  10. Eric 06:46am, 06/04/2016

    Ali wore his heart on his sleeve. In a world of hypocrites, liars, cowards, sellouts,  and deceivers, this man was refreshing. Ali might not have been the smartest guy around but he was truly a wise man. “Men believe in the truth of all that is seen to be strongly believed in.”

  11. didier 06:21am, 06/04/2016

    Rest in peace,Champ.

  12. The Tache 06:13am, 06/04/2016

    A true legend. Divisive, controversial, entertaining and contradictory at different times, but he was always Ali. In sporting terms he was a real warrior, probably too much for his own good in the end. But as we all know, he transcended being just a sporting giant to become an icon of the 20th century. He wasn’t perfect but the world would have been worse off without him. RIP champ.

  13. Eric 04:12am, 06/04/2016

    Simply the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time. No heavyweight fought the level of competition that Ali fought. This man defeated some of the greatest heavyweights to ever lace up a pair of gloves. I think Ali’s first fight with Liston was on the level, but not the second, however, Ali can’t be blamed for Liston’s actions. Liston was a beast, and Foreman was even more beastly than Sonny. Ali beat a punching machine named Joe Frazier twice. Just beating these 3 men puts Ali at the top, not to mention a slew of other very capable contenders like Norton, ( personally I think Norton won all 3 fights), Quarry, Bonavena, Lyle, Shavers, Bugner, etc. I admire Ali more for the way he fought outside of the boxing ring even more. Ali was proven right about the Vietnam War, and his willingness to risk his freedom and career for his beliefs is admirable. Of course Ali is today slammed for being a racial separatist, but he was oddly embraced by the multiCULT crowd during his career. What the critics of Ali fail to grasp is that multiculturalism is in fact monoculturalism, it destroys the beauty of separate cultures. Glad to be around when this man was fighting his epic wars with Foreman, Frazier and Norton. His passing truly saddens me. RIP Champ!!!

  14. koolz 04:08am, 06/04/2016

    Good bye champ and have a nice journey.  A man bigger then the sport you competed in.

    Bruce Lee memorized your moves and in corporated them into Jeet Kune Do.

    It takes am amazing individual stand up to your beliefs.

    I still watch your fights.

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