The greatest boxer to ever grace the earth, Muhammad Ali, will join celebrities in Las Vegas for a charity gala in his honour that will raise money for several charities. The event will be aired on TV on Saturday the 25th February and there are hopes to raise $27 million for several charities including those for Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and other disorders of memory, movement and mood.
The star studded event will be attended by many famous celebrities including Stevie Wonder, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson and David Beckham, plus countless others. The night will give people the opportunity to honour one of the greatest personalities the world has ever witnessed, inside and outside the boxing ring. A legendary superstar, Ali fought 61 fights in total during his boxing career, winning 56 of them! Thirty-seven of these victories were knockouts and only a mere five fights were ever lost. What an astounding record!
Ali won his first heavyweight title on February 25th, 1964, when Sonny Liston admitted defeat after the sixth round. When the time came for him to be drafted into the army a few years later he found himself stripped of his title instead. As a conscientious objector who refused to fight in the Vietnam war he was vilified for his humanitarian stance. ”I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong… No Viet Cong ever called me nigger,” claimed Ali. Not only was he stripped of his title, he was refused the ability to professionally box too.
Years later the decision was revoked but rather that try to reinstate his title, the fighter within propelled Ali to aim for new heights on the ladder of success and what a sportsman he proved himself to be. He went on to beat every top heavyweight of the era with his fast footwork, powerful punches and immense self-belief.
Known now not only for his amazing boxing career and for seeking equal rights for black people in America, his philanthropic work has continued throughout his post-boxing life despite suffering severely from Parkinson’s disease. He is a devout Muslim who travels the world over lending his notoriety with the intention of helping those less fortunate and in an attempt to prevent wars. Ali continues to promote respect and improved understanding between man.
It is wonderful that he and his life’s work is being recognised and honoured in this way whilst he is still alive. God bless you, Muhammad Ali, you truly are “the greatest”!