Befitting honour for Ali

2019-02-13 06:01

AN overdue honour has been given to former outspoken human rights activist, social champion and boxing legend “Louisville Lip” Muhammad Ali.

The renaming of the Louisville Airport in the U.S. to Muhammad Ali Airport applauds his social activism in highlighting black and white issues in a humorous but stinging manner, and given his four-year ban and stripping of his title (it belonged to the boxing association) and loss of income, all for his refusal to fight in Vietnam.

Ali could have easily taken foreign citizenship but on principle remained an American citizen and fought his legal battle, which he won.

His return to boxing with the Rumble in the Jungle in Zaire was an epic fight that had the world, from New York to Nigeria, gripped. To quote Ali style, he didn’t fumble, or mumble but made his opponent George Foreman tumble in round eight, which made Ali look great.

Strangely, the honour also highlights how after Ali won an Olympic medal against opponents from communist countries, in his own democratic home town he was refused a burger on the grounds of his race.

Once a reporter wanted to interview an unwell Ali for 10 minutes, and Angelo Dundee, his trainer, said: “No I cannot, Ali does not talk for less than an hour,” and the interview went on for two hours!

The renaming of Louisville Airport is a totally befitting honour for a person whom the school kept passing each year and who made boxing famous.

In his words, “there will be no one like him” in sport, and so well done to the U.S. and Louisville for giving Ali such an honour.


Durban North


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