Photo of the day

Boxing fan or not, this is just an amazing iconic image:

A limited edition print of the fight between Ali and Liston in the famous 1965 ‘Phantom Punch’ bout in Lewiston, Maine (Heritage/BNPS)

Also, really enjoyed this take from N&O Sports columnist Luke Decock, as it reflected my experience:

By the time my boxing consciousness awakened, Muhammad Ali had long ago entered the elder-statesman phase of his life. I remember Holmes and Cooney. There was a menacingly dominant heavyweight of my childhood and adolescence, but it was Tyson, not Ali.

The Ali I knew was a gentle man trapped in the throes of Parkinson’s, a shadow of what he once was physically but with every bit of the presence that melted both presidents and paupers alike. He was no longer a boxer, but had transcended sports to become a national icon, whose surprise, trembling appearance to light the Olympic flame could bring people of all ages and races to open tears.

So to discover that Ali was once widely reviled, as divisive a figure as there was in America at the time, came like a slap in the face. It was less an education about Ali than about an America my generation never knew: an angry, segregated America where an outspoken black superstar was seen not as the man of principle he would become but a threat to the established order.

 

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to Photo of the day

  1. R, Jenrette says:

    One of things he said when he was being criticized for being a conscientious objector was that no one from Viet Nam had ever called him the N-word.

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