What Ali Meant to Me [VIDEOS]
Muhammad Ali was much more than a heavy weight boxer, he was an American icon and his message was clear, he was the Greatest.
Most of us never knew him as Cassius Clay, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 following his defeat of Sonny Liston.
Ali refused to go to war in Vietnam and he was stripped of his heavyweight title for his actions.
My earliest memories of Muhammad Ali came out side the boxing ring with his extreme confidence in himself and the amusing rhymes he used to describe what he was going to do in the ring.
One of the my favorite memories was the relationship Ali had with sports announcer Howard Cosell, the banter was funny with a few insults but you can tell that their was respect and love between these two men.
The 1970's is where I became a big Ali fan watching several of his fights, which included all three Frazier fights, the 'Thrilla in Manilla', and his second championship title against George Foremen titled 'The Rumble in the Jungle' in which Ali used the "Rope a Dope' technique, allowing Foreman to punch himself out and them let him have it in the 8th round knocking out Foreman and winning back his heavyweight titles for the 2nd time.
Ali's went for his third title against Leon Spinks having lost to Spinks a few months earlier, he regained his title in 1978.
The second Spinks fight was really the last time I remember seeing Ali at his best, he retired after that and then tried to comeback to fight Larry Holmes but he wasn't the same Ali.
A few years later he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease and the flamboyant out spoken Ali was gone forever.
Ali continued to fight for just causes in the world but he did so with his presence and written messages, while his body remained almost frozen with no speech.
Muhammad Ali will always be remembered for his contribution to this world.
Check out some the biggest Ali moments in the videos below
VS Sonny Liston
Thrilla in Manilla
Rumble in the Jungle