Posted 07 June 2016 by Chris Farmer
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Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Speaker in the World
Ali was surely the greatest boxer in the world.
Ali was also the greatest speaker in the history of sport.
The man was gifted.
- Gifted as a sportsman.
- Gifted as a speaker.
- As a writer.
- As a poet.
- As a politician.
Even as a teenager Ali, (who was then named Cassius Clay) talked differently to the other boys.
He could be heard loudly proclaiming his superiority: Hear him...
"I am the greatest. I'm young; I'm strong; I'm fast. I'm pretty. I can't be beat."
"I'll show you how great I am."
His super confident language achieved many things
It drew attention to him. All eyes and ears turned to Ali.
It affected the minds of his opponents. (It made them feel as if the fight was a forgone conclusion and that they were bit-actors in a play in which ALI was the main star).
It affected Ali's own mind and put him in a confident state, ready for the fight.
It sold tickets! Ali was a great salesman. Maybe the best salesman in all of sporting history. People bought tickets in the hope of watching him win, others bought tickets in the hope of watching him fall. but either way, they bought tickets!
Ali played to packed theatres.
Ali understood the power of rhythm and rhyme
"Now you see me, Now you don't. George thinks he will, But I know he won't."
"My face is so pretty; You don't see a scar, Which proves I'm the king of the ring, by far."
Ali was a man of principle
Even if you did not agree with his principles, you had to admire his integrity and strength of character, in that he put into practice the principles he believed in, even when threatened, punished and even jailed for sticking to his beliefs.
Ali was a student of life
He lived, he evolved and became greater outside the ring than he was inside.
"A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."
Ali made a lasting impression
Not many people change the world. But some people do. Nelson Mandela. JFK. Margret Thatcher. Muhammed Ali.
Ali left a legacy that changed the world during the 1960s and 70s: and his memory is still changing the world today. The world over, young men and women, are still influenced by the semi mythical hero that is Mohammed Ali.
We will remember Ali
Let us give him the last word.
"If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread,
then they can sure make something out of you."