Early on Saturday 4th June 2016 we lost a sporting icon, a character whose personality and fame transcends boxing, transcends sport and is universal. After suffering from Parkinson's Disease for over 30 years the great Muhammad Ali passed away. I suppose in the circumstances of the illness his passing hasn't come as a great shock but is still a tragic loss to mankind.
He called himself the greatest. He supported his claim with his achievements, not only as the most talented of all the world heavyweight champions, but also with his captivating personality. Not only is he the most famous boxer of all time, but also the most famous sportsman and arguably the most famous person. He stood opposed to the Vietnam war and in support of racial equality in the United States where he was refused service in a whites only diner in his home town of Louisville, even though he was wearing the gold medal he had won for his country at the Rome Olympics in 1960.
Muhammad Ali Olympic Gold medallist, three-time world heavyweight champion was the man they couldn't gag, his legacy was that you can achieve what ever you set out to achieve as long as you have the belief. The odds were against him when he challenged Liston and Foreman, he stood tall against the might of the US government, he succeeded because he believed.
09 June 2016
World leaders will be among thousands attending Friday's procession and memorial service in Louisville, Kentucky, where Ali was born in 1942. Ali died last Friday at the age of 74 in hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
From 09:00 local time (13:00 GMT), the coffin will be taken on a procession through the streets of Louisville, passing by locations historically important to Ali. His funeral will then take place at a large concert and sports arena, the KFC Yum! Center, from 14:00. The service will be open to the public. The boxer will be buried in a private service at the city's Cave Hill Cemetery.
British former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and actor Will Smith, who once portrayed Ali on screen, will be among the pallbearers. Former US President Bill Clinton and actor Billy Crystal are also set to speak.
After Ali's death, President Obama said he kept a pair of his gloves in his private study below the photograph of Ali beating Sonny Liston in 1964. He said: “Ali would be remembered not just as skilled a poet on the mic as he was a fighter in the ring, but a man who fought for what was right. A man who fought for us.”
Jeff ‘Bulldog’ Burns Top 10 Heavyweights!
Was Muhammad Ali the Greatest? (by Jeff Burns)
Was Muhammad Ali the greatest? Part 1 (by Jeff Burns)
Was Muhammad Ali the greatest? Part 2 (by Jeff Burns)
Was Muhammad Ali the greatest? Part 3 (by Jeff Burns)
Was Muhammad Ali the greatest? Part 4 (by Jeff Burns)
Was Muhammad Ali the Greatest? Part 5 (by Jeff Burns)
Was Muhammad Ali the GREATEST? The Answer (by Jeff Burns)