Boxing...And with Muhammad ali about to try and make boxing history by becoming the first?
Boxing...And with Muhammad ali about to try and make boxing history by becoming the first heavyweight to win the world title ??? times, commentators are still not sure whether he is serious about retiring after the fight. Ali has announced his retirement on several occasions -- the most publicised came two years ago in Turkey. He said then after beating Ken Norton to retain the world title, that he thrown his last punch and was taking up preaching. But whatever happens after the fight with Leon Spinks, one thing remains certain -- Ali has captured more publicity than any other boxer in history, and his name and face are among the best known in the world.
SYNOPSIS: Just a few hours after beating Sonny Liston, Ali, the new world champion, announced he had become a Black Muslim. This decision led to him being stripped of the title for refusing to fight ini Vietnam.
In 1973 Ali had his jaw broken in his defeat over 12 rounds by Ken Norton in San diego. It was two years since he had suffered his first defeat against Joe Frazier in his first attempt to regain the title. many experts thought the Norton defeat would end Ali's career. But he gained revenge over Norton and finally, in 1974 won the heavyweight title for the second time when he knocked out George Foreman in the eight round in Zaire.
Now if he is to win the title for the record third time, Ali must beat this man, Leon Spinks, who has been champion since his surprise defeat of Ali in February.
Retire or not after the Spinks fight, Ali recognises the end of his concerns outside boxing has been his involvement in charitable activities. This visit to a Federal Prison in the United States was requested by the warden.
Even abroad, ali has found time, like this tour of a school for handicapped children in England, to take part in charity functions. He says he wants to use his fame to help those who need it.
Ali recognises the financial potential of his popularity, and used it last year to launch the European premiere in London of his film, called simply 'The Greatest'. Ali is best summed up by himself, in a style all his own.