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Muhammad Ali has died. When I was a child, before we had television, our family would listen to boxing matches on the radio, which was exciting. I recall reading years later in a magazine, in a high school study hall, about an upcoming young fighter named Cassius Clay from Louisville. So that must be more than 50 years ago. How magnificent.

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If there is a Hereafter  I can see Mohammed Ali and Howard Cossel   swapping stories and having a Good Old Time....

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As a kid, I remember waiting for the first Cassius Clay, Sonny Liston fight after all the hoopla. I thought Sonny would cream him because he looked mean and bad, and Clay acted like a kid. What a surprise. And when Clay said, “I am the Greatest!” I thought, “That is really stupid. Other people need to call you the greatest because if you call yourself that it is delusional and bragging. What a joke.” Instead the “I am the greatest” guy *branded* himself and became a millionaire. If I remember correctly when he changed his name and became a Muslim (to avoid the draft) I thought he was lying. I don’t think Ali went to mosque or prayed five times a day after the first year after conversion either.


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