Float like a butterfly… Sting like a bee…
Nobody could say it better, ‘Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee’ Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016
The greatest heavyweight in the history of the sport, he was known for being an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring.
In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, he refused to be conscripted into the U.S military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American’s involvement in the Vietnam War. He was eventually arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing title.
(I don’t blame him either because I would have done the same, and he wasn’t ashamed to tell them why he wouldn’t and quite rightly so)
He refused to be inducted into the armed forces, stating publicly, ‘No Vietcong ever called me a n…..’ He was systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport. As a result, he did not fight from March 1967 to October 1970 from ages 25 to almost 29.
As his case worked its way through the appeal process. In 1971, the U.S Supreme Court overturned his conviction.
The older of two boys, he was named for his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. Who himself was named in honour of the 19th century abolitionist and politician of the same name.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984, his bout with Parkinson’s led to a gradual decline over the year’s yet never stopped him from leading a wonderful life with his family and those who loved him.
On July 27, 2012, he was a titular bearer of the Olympic Flag during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He was helped to his feet by his wife Lonnie to stand before the flag due to his Parkinson’s.
I remember the occasion well, and how I cried not only to see his health declining, but for a man whom I have admired since I was in my teens being given such a wonderful opportunity, and very fitting it was too.
I have loved his many quotes during his boxing career and interviews with various TV hosts, I have been behind him all the way in every stand he took and his beliefs in equality of race and freedom for all.
Quotes from the greatest…
‘Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee, your hands can’t hit, what your eyes can’t see.’
‘Live every day like it’s your last because someday you’re going to be right.’
‘A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted thirty years of his life.’
‘I am so fast that last night I turned off the light switch and was in bed before the room was dark.’
‘Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it, and I didn’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name, and I insist people using it when speaking to me and of me.’
‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’
My favourite TV Interview…
Parkinson Interview I loved this interview so much I laughed until I cried.
So it’s with great sadness that I say Mohammad Ali may you Forever Rest In Eternal Peace In the hands of God. You will NEVER be forgotten, and Thank You for the many years of Entertainment, Laughter, and Joy that you have brought to the World.
‘Sleep Well Sir’
🙏 💖 x