Muhammad Ali is a global hero any day especially for what he stood for in his lifetime and we love the feeling as we remember the life and times of the star today.
Ali lived the life, he was a celebrity on many levels except that he made his fame and fortune being a totally outspoken man and then he walked the talk.
He knocked out many huge figures in the ring after which many of his comments became globally-acclaimed quotes.
He was a man who didn’t believe in counting the days but making the days count.
Ali loved to dream big and according to him:
“The man without imagination has no wings [and] the best to way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
These were some of the notable words of the boxing great who is widely described as one who floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.
The boxing legend, with three heavyweight titles represented, a lot for both the Black and White communities, was and still is a figure of hope for youths around the world and would remain in history books as the greatest in professional boxing with 37 knockouts and five losses.
He strongly supported religious freedom and racial justice, hence earning himself global recognition even outside the game.
From the age of 12 when he was robbed of his bike in school to the point he won the national golden gloves middleweight in 1959 and 1960 and then the Olympics where he won the light heavyweight to 1979 when he won the heavyweight title and then retired in 1981, Cassius ‘Mohammed Ali’ Clay set records as a fierce figure in the ring even though he was often misconstrued for his exuberance and extremely vocal nature.
Born on January 18, 1984 in Louisville, Kentucky, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984 and died of respiratory complications on Friday, June 3, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 74.
Just like the Nigerian and African soccer hero Stephen Okechukwu Keshi who passed on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 in Benin, Ali continues to inspire millions with hos works and not many words can describe his genius in and outside the boxing ring.
late Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi
He had an amazing footwork and he weighed in on some of the most critical subjects such as religion as racial segregation.
Now that he is gone, we look back at his life as a boxer and we see many outstanding issues that will keep him relevant in years to come.
Similarly, if the late boxing legend was a Hollywood star with the kind of life he lived, he’d have maintained pole position in many respects just as he’d be widely remembered for these:
1. Global achievements as a youngster – As an 18-year-old, Mohammed Ali won gold at the Olympics beating Zbigniew Pietrzkowski of Poland in 1960. This is very similar to a teenager grabbing major laurels at the Grammys or the Oscars. Clear examples of this are the Oscar win of Merlee Matlin who won for Best Actress at the 1986 Oscars at the age of 21 for the movie Children Of A Lesser God. Similarly, Timothy Hutton won in 1980 an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 20 for the movie Ordinary People.
2. Fortune, fame and many women – When the money comes, a lot of other things follow and Ali’s story was a typical case, something like a Hollywood big shot. He allegedly had women, loads of them and during his lifetime he got married four times to Sonji Roi, Belinda Boyd, Veronica Porsche and Yolanda. With these ladies he had seven daughters and two sons.
3. Braggadocio – The iconic sportsman was vocal, very vocal and the good thing about his being outspoken was he matched his words with actions. He easily bring to mind the sort of razzmatazz typical of hip hop legend and Oscar winner Marshall ‘Eminem’ Mathers who won the award in 2003 for the song 8 Mile.
4. The highs, the lows and success in death – Ali’s was a historic career in his heyday. But he experienced a decline as well as he lost a number of important fixtures in his lifetime, something similar to a movie or music star losing out at the biggest stage. Following his defeats to Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick, he retired in 1979. And upon his death, he’s enjoyed even more successes from the media and other ventures as the world continues to eulogize him in every way possible.
5. Sex tape controversies – It is no news that celebrity sex tapes are big business for Hollywood stars and it is no surprise that Ali’s ex-lover Mensah Barbara is looking to exchange the late boxer’s sex tape for commercial rewards. As she comes forward with her claims, it reminds us anew of the major similarity this has with movie and music stars whose exes have at various points tried to cash in on the situation with threats to release the x-rated films.
In this light, we remember the infamous stories of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson and Usher Raymond among others.
At present, Mensah Barbara who claims to have a daughter for the three-time world heavy weight is looking to get a six-figure cheque from the tape. Insiders say she is looking to rake in as much as $100, 000 or 70, 000 pounds sterling.
Muhammad Ali and little Kiiursten Mensah.
Speaking to British tabloid Sunday People, Mensah said:
“I know the value of the footage.
“No one has anything like this. I’d like to get as much as I can for it.
“There would be Ali and a few of his guys and then about a dozen or more girls.
“All of them were stunning. Muhammad couldn’t keep away from a pretty girl whether he was married or not.
“The tapes show them having sex.
“They used to call them gumbo parties – it was a mix of everything.”
The 70-year-old further explained that the sex tape was handed to her by one of Ali’s closest confidants. She also claims to have written a “blockbuster” book on her life and relationship with the boxing legend, a book eight publishers are currently competing to put out.
Mensah’s love child with Ali is a 35-year-old lady named Kiiursti whose paternity was confirmed after a 1988 test.