View Full Version : Muhammad Ali reportedly placed on life support as condition worsens

Rocky C
06-03-16, 05:56 PM
Muhammad Ali continues to fight, but the legendary boxer reportedly isn’t doing well.

Ali, who also suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was hospitalized Thursday with a respiratory infection. A spokesman said at the time that Ali’s hospital stay was expected to be “brief,” but an insider told Radar Online on Friday that the 74-year-old’s vitals were “terrible” and that he still is relying on medical help to breathe properly.

“Doctors are telling the family that it likely won’t be long until he passes away,” another insider told Radar Online, adding that the former boxing champ was “barely breathing” Thursday when he was discovered at his home.

06-03-16, 05:59 PM
Sadly, it looks like he is going to lose his ultimate fight ...

Rocky C
06-04-16, 06:47 AM
Muhammad Ali, boxing champion and global good-will ambassador, dies at 74

Muhammad Ali, the charismatic three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world and Olympic gold medalist who transcended the world of sports to become a symbol of the antiwar movement of the 1960s and ultimately a global ambassador for cross-cultural understanding, died Friday night at a hospital in Phoenix, where he was living. He was 74.

The Associated Press and other news outlets confirmed the death. The boxer had been hospitalized with respiratory problems related to Parkinson’s disease, which had been diagnosed in the 1980s.

Mr. Ali dominated boxing in the 1960s and 1970s and held the heavyweight title three times. His fights were among the most memorable and spectacular in history, but he quickly became at least as well known for his colorful personality, his showy antics in the ring and his standing as the country’s most visible member of the Nation of Islam.

When he claimed the heavyweight championship in 1964, with a surprising upset of the formidable Sonny Liston, Mr. Ali was known by his name at birth, Cassius Clay. The next day, he announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam, a move considered shocking at the time, especially for an athlete. He soon changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be,” he said at the time, signaling his intent to define his career on his own terms. “I’m free to be what I want.”

Mr. Ali came to represent a new kind of athlete, someone who created his own style in defiance of the traditions of the past. Glib, handsome and unpredictable, he was perfectly suited to television, and he became a fixture on talk shows as well as sports programs.

He often spoke in rhyme, using it to belittle his opponents and embellish his own abilities. “This is the legend of Cassius Clay, the most beautiful fighter in the world today,” he said before his 1964 title bout. “The brash young boxer is something to see, and the heavyweight championship is his destiny.”

One of his assistants, Drew “Bundini” Brown, captured his lithe, graceful presence in the ring, saying Mr. Ali would “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The description entered the popular lexicon.

A funeral for Mr. Ali will be held in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, according to The Associated Press. City officials scheduled a memorial service Saturday.

Mr. Ali appealed to people of every race, religion and background, but during the turbulent, divisive 1960s, he was particularly seen as a champion of African Americans and young people. Malcolm X, who recruited Mr. Ali to the Nation of Islam, once anointed him “the black man’s hero.”

In 1967, after Mr. Ali had been heavyweight champion for three years, he refused to be inducted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Despite the seeming contradiction of a boxer advocating nonviolence, he gave up his title in deference to the religious principle of pacifism.

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam,” Mr. Ali said in 1967, “while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”

His title was immediately taken away, and he was banned from his sport for more than three years. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but a prolonged appeals process kept him from serving time.

Mr. Ali’s decision outraged the old guard, including many sportswriters and middle Americans, who considered the boxer arrogant and unpatriotic. But as the cultures of youth and black America were surging to the fore in the late 1960s, Mr. Ali was gradually transformed, through his sheer magnetism and sense of moral purpose, into one of the most revered figures of his time.

A casual statement he made in 1966 — “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong” — distilled the antiwar views of a generation.

“Ali, along with Robert Kennedy and the Beatles in the persona of John Lennon, captured the ’60s to perfection,” writer Jack Newfield told Thomas Hauser, the author of a 1991 oral biography, “Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times.”

“In a rapidly changing world,” Newfield added, “he underwent profound personal change and influenced rather than simply reflected his times.”

Later, as Mr. Ali’s boxing career receded into the past, and as neurological infirmities left him increasingly slowed and silenced, he became a symbol of unity and brotherhood, someone whose very presence and image acquired an aura of the spiritual. He was greeted by thousands whenever he toured the world.

He “evolved from a feared warrior,” Hauser wrote, “to a benevolent monarch and ultimately to a benign venerated figure.”

In 1996, Mr. Ali stood at the top of a podium during the opening ceremonies of the Summer Games in Atlanta in what became one of the most indelible moments in Olympic history. Shakily holding the torch as an estimated 3 billion people watched on television, Mr. Ali lit the Olympic flame, marking the official beginning of the Games. He stood alone before the world, a fragile, yet still indomitable demigod.

06-04-16, 02:40 PM
Unlike most during that time, he didn't get a deferment, or run to Canada, or burn his draft card. He stood up for what he believed and went to prison for it.

Rocky C
06-06-16, 08:16 AM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Muhammad Ali's younger brother wept, swayed to hymns and hugged anyone he could reach. He raised his hands to the sky, eyes closed, surrounded by congregants at the church where their father once worshipped.

Rahaman Ali took center stage at the two-hour service at King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, sitting in a front-row pew with his wife, Caroline. The church is not far from the little pink house in Louisville's west end where the Ali brothers grew up.

It was one of several emotional remembrances Sunday as the city joined together to mourn its most celebrated son, the Louisville Lip. Later this week, politicians, celebrities and fans from around the globe are expected for a Friday memorial service that Ali planned himself with the intent of making it open to all.

An airplane carrying the boxing great's body landed in his grieving hometown Sunday afternoon.

At services all over town, they recited Ali's words on religion: "Rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, oceans all have different names, but they all contain water," Ali once said. "So do religions have different names, and they all contain truth."

At a Sunday evening memorial at the Louisville Islamic Center, speakers from many faiths — Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Jews — lamented that Ali's death came at a time when political rhetoric is getting more divisive.

They did not mention Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by name, but the reasons for the theme were clear. The Republican presidential candidate said he would temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States, a proposition Ali used one of his last public statements to rebuke.

"When the clamor of the disaffected targets those considered other we need someone to cry out that people are not born other — we make them other, through our fear, through our prejudice, our hatred, our desire to grasp for more than is rightfully ours," said Rev. Derek Penwell, who leads a Christian church in Louisville. "We need a voice who knows that true power is to help us to see that our determination to love in spite of our fear is the greatest expression of power that human beings can muster."

Ali famously converted to the Islamic faith and refused to fight in the Vietnam War, though it cost him years of his boxing career. He insisted throughout his life that people of all faiths and colors should come together in peace, and the speakers at the Islamic Center pondered whether anyone else has the strength or statute to take on the fight.

"Now who will push back the agents of hatred and watch our back?" asked Dr. Muhammad Baber. "When we fight these demons of Islamophobia, who will show the light to our youth surrounded by traitors of terror? ... Who will testify for our innocence in this season of witch hunting?"

Even after his conversion, Ali sometimes attended King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church. Ali's father, Cassius Clay Sr., a painter, was an active member of the congregation before his death decades ago. He painted a mural of Jesus' baptism that still hangs behind the pulpit.

"There is no greater man that has done more for this city than Muhammad Ali," the church's assistant pastor, Charles Elliott III, said Sunday morning, drawing a round of "amens" and prolonged applause from the congregation.

Elliott recalled the comical side of the former boxing champion and global humanitarian, who died Friday night at an Arizona hospital.

Elliott said his grandmother was once a nanny to Ali's family. He visited as a wide-eyed young boy, he said, and recalled the house had an elevator and a parrot who called out: "Here comes the champ, here comes the champ."

His father, the Rev. Charles Elliott Jr., knew Ali for decades and remembered his generosity. He recalled when he was raising money in the 1960s to keep a program running to feed the city's hungry, and Ali cut him a check. At the time, the program offered food twice a week, he said.

"He came in and he said, 'Reverend, let's feed 'em every day. I'll give you a check.'"

06-12-16, 06:07 PM
To me he represented my generation and I read a lot about why he chose not to go into the service. I was confused, but elected not to judge him since each of us had to decide for ourselves what we were going to do. I chose to leave a college campus and fly to Parris Island. Ali chose a different path that couldn't have been any easier than mine.

My friends and I listened on a transistor radio when he upset Liston to become heavyweight champion. I was so happy that evening!