BRYANT GUMBEL CLOSING COMMENTARY; EPISODE #203 AIRs FEBRUARY 25 @ 10:00 PM ET/PT
“Finally tonight, no rants, no howls of protest about the increasing inequities in sports – just a few words from the Arizona desert, where I’m happy to report, a special man is still enjoying his very special life.
Despite the rigors of age, the progressive nature of Parkinson’s, and some spinal difficulties that have impacted his gait and his balance, Muhammad Ali, according to his wife Lonnie, is doing OK in Arizona. She says she can tell because her husband is still feisty and is still flirting and that recently he actually joked about making a comeback. If only that were possible.
What prompted my call was the fact that tonight marks the 50th anniversary of the champ’s first title; when, as Cassius Clay, he took the heavyweight crown from Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964.
When I asked Lonnie if they were marking the occasion in any way, she said no. That although Ali enjoys hearing about his past, he doesn’t live in it. It’s left for those who love him, to mark his golden anniversary in his golden years. It was the first of many unforgettable memories authored by the man who was, and always will be for me and millions of others, still the greatest of all time.”