WHY MUHAMMAD ALI WAS TRULY “THE GREATEST”

March 15th, 2012 By Pedro Fernandez

To Pedro, Love Muhammad Ali

ANSWERING THE CRITICS IN BRIEF!

San Francisco, CA- Having written two stories in successive days on Muhammad Ali, some people were of the opinion that the articles were negative pieces that ripped on the former three-time World heavyweight champion. Truth be told, that was not the case. And seeing I find no reason to defend my writings, we move on with our third Ali story in as many days.

MARTIN LUTHER KING HAD MORE JUICE!

When it came to African-American men in the decade of the 1960′s, only the assassinated Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King carried more clout than Muhammad Ali. Having refused to step forward and be inducted into the U.S. Army, Muhammad Ali was stripped of the heavyweight championship. One year later, the establishment that tried to silence Ali, did forever silence Martin Luther King in a Government plot that was proven after a Memphis, TN jury in 2000 ruled after the family of Martin Luther King sued Lloyd Jowers and others, the King’s won a “Wrongful Death” verdict
, a judicial decision the mass media did not cover, one that exonerated James Earl Ray, who died in prison in the late 1990′s for the King killing.

WHILE IN BOXING EXILE, ALI WAS SPEAKING ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES!

Like King, who was very much against the Vietnam conflict, (notice I did not use the term war because nobody ever attacked us) Ali, like the late Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, two Presidential candidates in 1968, his anti-war speeches helped bring about the end of the conflict that was fueled and promoted by the Military Industrial Complex, a group that to this day still controls this country. It would take over 58,000 American men and women to die in Indochina before President Richard Nixon pulled the plug on Vietnam. Much like King, Ali was a masterful speaker, something that people who were not alive during that time period might not realize seeing the residual effects of professional boxing and Parkinson’s disease have silenced the man introduced to us as the “Louisville Lip.”

BROUGHT UP POVERTY & RACIAL INEQUALITY WHEN IT WASN’T POPULAR

Now even though the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir are both of above average intelligence, you don’t see them speaking out about world issues, like the genocide in Sudan, or the slaughter going on in Syria. But Ali, if he were able to still speak as eloquently as he once did, “The Greatest” would be bringing up these issues and the fact that, “One in four American children go to bed hungry each night.” And before you blast me for saying that, those words came from the mouth of none other than Laura Bush, the wife of the most recent President George Bush, this would air weekly on my radio show in a commercial while with the Talk America Radio Network some ten years ago.

WATCHED HIM WORK HIS MAGIC HERE & ABROAD

Even when he could hardly speak in the decade of the 1990′s as we toured Asia together, Muhammad Ali brought a smile to more people’s faces than anything or anybody I’ve ever seen. To many, he was the real-life Santa Claus. I’ve told you how he asked me to cough up hundreds of dollars, he did as well, for food to feed an orphanage for disfigured and disabled children run by Catholic Nuns in Macao. We were supposed to be with the then Government leader, I believe it was the Governor, when Ali told me to tell our driver to take us to a children’s hospital. But Ali, being Ali, made the politicos wait two hours as we instead spent time playing with the kids and discussing their lives with the Nun in charge.

WAS HE THE GREATEST FIGHTER OF ALL TIME?

Probably not, as I think when it came to fighting “Sugar Ray” Robinson or Henry Armstrong were more deserving of that honor. Maybe even Jack Johnson or a couple of others, but that was in the world of boxing. In real life, as a crusader and human being, a voice for the poor and downtrodden, there is nobody that could equal Muhammad Ali, thus he truly was “The Greatest” in a multitude of ways!

Pedro Fernandez

COMMENTS

  1. As a boxer, I don’t think so.. but as a citizen of America, yes.

    Romulo on March 15th, 2012 at 7:48 PM
  2. Pedro,

    There isn’t going to be another Ali. You and I were blessed to be alive when he happened.

    The Klitschko’s couldn’t even carry Ali’s jock in the manner in which you state. No more than could Michael Jordan whom Richard Hoffer once rightfully noted “had the social conscience of a baked-potato” and the list goes on.

    It isn’t even fair to compare Ali’s handling of such events with athletes period. Nearly every World Leader over the past century fell short of Ali’s charisma, understanding and impact of said events.

    Ali is the most prominent Muslim in the world to ever condemn the September 11th Terrorism Attacks and may have also been the very first to do so.

    He was right on September 11th, he was right on Vietnam, he was right on many issues of race in this country. Wrong on some but right on most, the man is still a human being. Being white, I didn’t care for some of his remarks or beliefs any more than I’m sure he cared what was coming his way from my race. But the swinging of this pendulum has plagued mankind forever as near as I can tell.

    Ali, despite a misstep here and there (which we all do) is a man who has slowed the arc of this pendulum, perhaps more than any other man during my lifetime. And THAT is something too few of us do and of the few who do, almost none of them are of a stature comparable to Ali.

    Jack Dunne on March 18th, 2012 at 4:43 PM

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