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Muhammad Ali dies at age 74

Muhammad Ali 1942-2016

Muhammad Ali
1942-2016

“Heroes are remembered, but legends never die.” – Babe Ruth

A few days after being sent to a Phoenix-area hospital for respiratory issues, Muhammad Ali died at the age of 74. But he will never be forgotten.

Ali became known for his silver tongue, but backed everything up with his incredible boxing ability. The six-time golden Gloves winner and 1960 Light Heavyweight gold medalist put together what most boxing fans would call the greatest career in history and still to this day he is the standard of the heavyweight division.

He was the one who came out and proclaimed himself “The Greatest” and regularly called himself “pretty” and had his famous “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” sayings, but the man backed up his words. Ali to this day is still the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion, a two-time WBC Champions and three-time WBA Champions.

And despite all of his success and accomplishments and successful championship defenses, we will always still be left to wonder just how great he really could have been. After bursting onto the scene as a champion with consecutive knockouts of Sonny Liston in back-to-back fights, Ali had a four-year run as champion with nine-straight title defenses. The only reason he lost the belt was because of a suspension. A suspension because he refused to be inducted into the armed forces through the draft and one that cost him three years in the prime of his career.

But when he finally did return, Ali quickly was the star attraction again and eventually fought his way back up the rankings and had an even longer run as champion, defending his title he won against George Foreman 10 times. And after that five-year run a champion ended with a split decision loss to Leon Spinks, he won the rematch with a unanimous decision to regain his titles.

The talking just took him to a whole different level of greatness, though. The man’s fights had nicknames: “The Fight of the Century”, “The Rumble in the Jungle”, “The Thrilla in Manila”, “The Drama in the Bahamas.” Nicknames like that don’t stick unless you’ve captivated your audience. He was great at doing that.

With Ali being so loud and brash, it would be easy to assume that he was all about himself; but Ali was far from that. He was a tremendous humanitarian who cared about people and the reason people loved him so much was because not only was his a great athlete, he was an even better person.

Ali stood up for what he believed in when he refused to go to Vietnam and be asked to kill people he had no quarrels with. He made sure he kept his training sessions open so fans could see him and he never left a fan jilted by understanding that as a standout athlete and role model he should take the two seconds to shake a fans hand or sign an autograph for them. He liked to make people feel good, and provided the people who loved him that ability with how mindful he was of making sure he remained humble and personable throughout his entire life.

You could write a book of inspirational quotes Ali said. You could list off countless times he used his fame to put something in the forefront of society to try to make a change. He did it because he had the ability to and didn’t want to waste it. Ali was more than just a sports star; he was a world-wide celebrity, who did things that still to this day would be out of the ordinary.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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