‘Clay’ is no more, but Ali lives for ever

‘Clay’ is no more, but Ali lives for ever

By Hemanshu Chaturvedi | 4 June, 2016
I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘Don’t quit’. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion.’’ so said uhammad Ali
On the day of January 17, 1942 in Kentucky, Odessa Grady Clay and Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. were blessed with a son. No one in the world thought that the new born would turn history of a sport around. The childhood was full of adventure, determination and stubbornness. The aggression of 12 year old young Clay was such that when somebody stole his bicycle, he went up to the policeman, Joe Martin and swore to ‘whup whoever stole it.” It was then, boxing history was in the making when Martin told the young boy that he should learn how to fight first before challenging, little did he know that he had just challenged a future world boxing champion. Martin trained the youngster and in just over a few weeks, Clay won his maiden boxing bout.
The achievements of Clay from then on is a matter of record and history. From winning amateur titles to Olympic medals, it was only Clay, Clay and CLAY! The world had a new boxer, 6’3, with lightning speed and fancy footwork. 
Clay always had his own opinion and his own way of life. He feared neither relevance nor irrelevance. In 1964, after claiming the Heavyweight Championship, the very next day he announced that he was a follower of Islam and overnight, Cassius Marcellus Cay Jr. became Muhammad Ali.
The life of the Great Ali can easily be a success case study of ‘talent, hard work, strong-willed, high-headed, champion, philanthropist’ for any sports related work. The traits of the man were so many, with a life of mixed fortunes, of achievements and pain and illness.
As a man with no fear, he refused his military induction to serve the U.S Armed forces and was arrested with suspension of his boxing license and a revoked Heavyweight Belt. He preferred to serve the sentence rather than be sorry.
The sentence lasted from 67-70 after which he returned to the ring, but by then he had lost his sheen and was faced with his first loss against Joe Frazier, after 31 wins. Ali had a career till 1981, when he hung his boxing gloves with a record of 56 wins,5 losses and 37 knockouts.
The life of the Great Ali can easily be a success case study of ‘talent, hard work, strong-willed, high-headed, champion, philanthropist’ for any sports related work. The traits of the man were so many, with a life of mixed fortunes, of achievements and pain and illness.
 He achieved his goals as a boxer, and as a human. He never towed the line, but evoked people to do listen to their conscience.
A legend, a hero, greatest boxer of all time, he lived life his way, be it in prison or in disease or most importantly, in the boxing ring. He always thought well for human kind and society at large. His achievements were recognized by the United Nations as well as the Government of USA.
History will remember this good human forever as a virtual hero of boxing- an inspiration for all ages.
 R.I.P Muhammad Ali.
 
Hemanshu Chaturvedi is a sports guru.
 

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.