Muhammad Ali: Paying Homage to an Iconic Icon

Muhammad Ali: Paying Homage – Few words in the English language are as over-used as the words “icon” and “iconic.” Originally a term with Christian religious connotations, “iconic” became secularized; evolving into a handy tool for saying that a particular person cast a long shadow, impacting society. Iconic people, by and large, are venerated.

Because the term has been tossed around so loosely, “icon” doesn’t do Muhammad Ali justice. He was no mere icon, but an iconic icon. During the height of Ali’s fame, it was said that if he were to parachute onto a remote island, landing in a village that was isolated from the rest of the world, lacking electricity and newspapers, the locals would yet recognize him.

Ali’s death brought forth an outpouring of tributes. Googling around the Internet, here are some of our favorites:

“His personality elevated mere boxing matches to stopping-off points in the history of the 20th century. He was not only a man for his times; he shaped those times and made them unforgettable.” – Kevin Mitchell, The Guardian

“He moved us to laughter, wonder and even a couple tears. Ali knocked us out.” — Todd Harmonson, Orange County Register

“He was Mark Twain with boxing gloves, an American original. But at heart, he was a fighter.” – Larry Merchant

“Everyone knows that Ali delighted in doing magic tricks for people but he possessed another kind of magic in his ability to make people feel somehow anointed with just a look and a touch.” – Keith Duggan, The Irish Times

“Muhammad Ali….was the most fantastical American figure of his era, a self-invented character of such physical wit, political defiance, global fame, and sheer originality that no novelist you might name would dare conceive him.” – David Remnick, The New Yorker

“As an athlete, Ali was touched by genius. The first phase of his career was about exuberance, speed and mobility. He challenged all the conventions of the ring. After his enforced absence, he turned to the other great facet of his character: stubbornness and bravery.” – Paul Hayward, London Telegraph

“Ali always was the only performer in any field of entertainment with the charm and the comedy and the improvisational brilliance to make an interview with Howard Cosell seem too short rather than too painfully, numbingly long.” – Dave George, Palm Beach Post

“The fact that Ali won the heavyweight championship three times is almost a sidebar to his being Ali, because as much as we revere the boxer we’ll always remember the man, flaws and all.” – George Willis, New York Post

“Muhammad Ali stood for what he believed….The only thing most athletes stand for these days is the photo shoot tied to their shoe endorsements.” – Rick Morrissey, Chicago Sun Times

Tom Archdeacon, the veteran sportswriter for the Dayton Daily News, relates a wonderful story about the time that the quick-witted Ali was actually one-upped. It happened on an airplane.

Stewardess: “Mr. Ali, please buckle your seat belt.”

Ali: “Superman don’t need no seatbelt.”

Stewardess: “Mr. Ali, Superman don’t need no plane.”

Daily News

Speaking of Superman, Ali defeated him in the pages of a 1978 D.C. comic, a 72-page, tabloid-sized special edition that was reprinted in hardback in 2010. Ali and the Man of Steel then joined forces to vanquish alien invaders, saving the planet from destruction.

How would Ali have fared in a match with Superman? The late Bert Randolph Sugar, the perfect foil for this sort of silliness, picked Ali in a whimsical 2010 interview with Jeffrey Renaud, a writer for Comic Book Resources: “Ali would be smart enough to step on his cape,” offered Sugar. “Besides, Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet but I think Ali is still faster.”

Bert Sugar Interview

Old-time boxing fans, more than old-time fans of any other sport, have this thing about fantasy match-ups. Baseball fans don’t sit around debating how Joe DiMaggio would have fared against Clayton Kershaw, but one can ignite a lively debate by asking whether Gennady Golovkin would have defeated Marvin Hagler. And of all the boxers that have come down the pike, only Muhammad Ali was singled out for a fantasy fight with Superman.

The young Muhammad Ali, like the aforementioned Bert Sugar, was mischievous; he was fun. For those fortunate to have been there when Ali was at his most garrulous, it was a privilege.

Muhammad Ali: Paying Homage



<img src=""> La “Tuti” Bopp expone ante mexicana -Reconocida hace algunos años atrás como la mejor mini mosca del mundo, la argentina Yesica Bopp expondrá este 18 de junio la corona de la Asociación Mundial (AMB) frente a la mexicana Nancy Franco, en La Guaira, Venezuela, donde se disputarán otros tres combates por coronas mundiales entre las féminas. Para “Tuti” Bopp (28-1-0, 12 KOs) será la décimo quinta defensa del cinturón de las 108 libras, que conquistó en forma interina (después fue elevado a “absoluto”) ante la mexicana Jessica Chávez, el 7 de marzo de 2009, en Chubut, Argentina. Tras un período de ausencia de la actividad competitiva de dos años, en la que se convirtió en madre de una niña que llamó Ariadna, Bopp regresó el pasado abril con triunfo unánime ante su coterránea Vanesa Taborda, aunque no estuvo en juego ninguno de los dos títulos que posee de la categoría, el otro correspondiente a la Organización Mundial (OMB). “Me he entrenado muy duro para mi regreso”, dijo Bopp a un medio de prensa argentino. “La actividad ha sido intacta, sigo con ganas de seguir creciendo como deportista y también como campeona”. En su última presentación previa al embarazo, Bopp, de 32 años, se impuso por fallo unánime a su compatriota Daniela Bermúdez, el 26 de abril de 2014, en Río Grande, Argentina, donde conquistó la faja vacante mosca de la OMB. El único revés de Bopp se lo propinó “La Kika” Chávez, en duelo revancha efectuado el 1 de junio de 2013, cuando disputaban el cinturón Plata del Consejo Mundial (CMB). A pesar de perder, la sudamericana retuvo las dos coronas, que no estaban en disputa. “No conozco mucho de Franco, pero sé que es fuerte”, señaló Bopp al referirse a su venidera oponente. “Hay que ser muy inteligente y precisa, porque las mexicanas son aguerridas y van siempre hacia adelante”. “La Chatita” Franco (15-8-2-, 4 KOs) exhibe dos fracasos consecutivos, el más reciente por unanimidad en seis asaltos ante la estadounidense Ebony Rivera, quien está invicta en siete peleas?desde su debut hace 21 meses en las filas rentadas. Antes, Franco, de 27 años, también había sucumbido versus la japonesa Yuko Kuroka, en diciembre del pasado año, cuando no pudo conquistar la faja de peso Mínimo (Paja) del CMB, en la ciudad nipona de Fukuoka. "El título del mundo se va para México”, dijo con evidente optimismo Franco. “Bopp es una excelente monarca, pero yo llego a este compromiso muy bien preparada y con suma confianza para llegar a lo más alto". Franco conquistó el cetro vacante Mínimo de la Federación Internacional (FIB), en noviembre de 2013, tras vencer a la local Kayoko Ebata, en el estadio Korakuén, de Tokyo, capital del archipiélago japonés. Seis meses más tarde cedió la corona ante su compatriota Victoria Argueta, en Monterrey, Nuevo León, pero lo recuperó ante la propia Argueta en febrero de 2015, en cerrada pelea que los jueces votaron en forma dividida, en Hidalgo, México.