“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, you can’t hit what the eyes don’t see.”
By Becky Holland, email@example.com
Friday night, June 4, the world became quiet, as news spread of the death of legendary boxing champion and civil rights advocate, Muhammad Ali, at the age of 74.
Celebrities and fans alike took to social media declaring their sympathy at the loss of one of boxing’s greatest. The Internet filled with articles and photos about Ali causing him to be a ‘trending topic’ – something he will be for several days.
Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Ky, 74 years ago, he began boxing as an amateur at the age of 12, won a gold medal in the U.S. Olympics, and got his first championship belt when he knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964.
Shortly after was when he became Muhammad Ali, and joined the Nation of Islam. For around three years, due to religious convictions, Ali refused induction into the U.S. Army, and was convicted of draft evasion. During this time, he couldn’t box. Later, it what has been called Ali’s ‘greatest fight victory,’ the Supreme Court overturned that conviction.
In 1970, Ali came back with a vengeance – losing to Joe Frazier once in 1971, but defeated him in 1974. Ali got the world heavyweight title back when he won by a knockout against George Foreman in the fall of 1974. In Ali’s third battle against Frazier – in Manila, Ali was the victor after 15 hard-fought rounds. In 1978, Ali lost the title to Leon Spinks, but won it back in a rematch six months later.
That victory made Ali the first fighter ever then to win the heavyweight title three times. At his retirement in 1981, Ali finished an outstanding career with 56 wins and five losses – with 37 of those wins to be by knockout.
People all over the world have been quoting Ali for years – using him as their muse of inspiration and motivation. His skill with words made him a champion just as his boxing skills did.
“”I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I was really the greatest.”
Ali, rest in peace.
(For more personal story on Ali, click here.)