Gilberto J. Mendoza: 80 years for Muhammad Ali

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Gilberto J. Mendoza: 80 years for Muhammad Ali
80 years for Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali is one of my favorite persons. He was an extraordinary human being who did things that others would not dare to do, which is why he transcended the boundaries of the ring and became a world leader. 

For me, his most important legacy was to defend his ideals above all else. He had no hesitation in abandoning boxing in its prime and opposing a war he considered unfair, facing the well-known consequences. Thus he became a synonym for freedom, because his fight was right and necessary. 

In the ring he was an artist, as he said “I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee”, he was a man with great speed for a heavyweight and fierce strength. He was an athlete with an extraordinary career, a great champion who defeated the best, and as in life, he fell and from all of them he knew how to get up. He did it against Norton or Frazier, to cite two examples. He also surprised the world when he faced Sonny Liston the first time as Cassius Clay and the second time as Muhammad Ali, leaving in the first one one of the best pictures of the sport. 

He a rich life and career.  That is why today we all celebrate the life of Muhammad Ali, who would be turning 80 years old and to honor his memory I want to leave this reflection he gave on a television program several years ago:

“God is watching me, God will not congratulate me for winning a fight against Joe Frazier, he doesn’t care about that. God wants to know how we treat each other, how we help each other. So I will use my name and my popularity to help others. 

Let’s follow his example and live like him, always looking for the best to help those around us. Happy birthday, Ali!


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