The Champ at 70

Muhammad Ali turned 70 last Monday, and he is still one of the beloved figures in the world.    His career and life has transcended sports, and when he refused induction into the U. S Army in 1967.   Ali was willing to put his career and freedom on the line for his religious beliefs, and was vindicated by the U.S Supreme Court in 1971.  Name any other athlete who would risk their career and millions of dollars for a principle.  He lost 3 1/2 years of his career, but won back the Heavyweight title against George Foreman in October 1974.   Ali’s battles with Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston and Ken Norton thrilled boxing fans world-wide.   After his retirement from the ring in 1981, and dealing with Parkinson’s disease has made him beloved the world over.    He has traveled the globe to promote peace, and  it inspired the building of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky.  He has appeared on the Sports Illustrated cover 38 times, and only Michael Jordan has been on the SI cover more than Ali.    At one time Ali was the most hatred man in America, but by the time he light the Olympic torch in Atlanta at the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics, he became one of the most beloved people in this country.   He could relate to everyone on the social scales from kids in the inter cities to kings and presidents.     The world cheered and chanted his name from Madison Square Garden to Zaire.   He made be 70 years old, but to his fans Muhammad Ali is still the greatest of all time.

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