Today a legend passed away. One of the most recognized sports figures of the past 100 years, former three-time heavyweight boxing champion and cultural and civil rights icon, known as The Greatest, Muhammad Ali has died. He was 74. He was taken to a Phoenix hospital suffering from respiratory problem. Over the years, Ali had long suffered from Parkinson's syndrome, which impaired his physical body.
Muhammad Ali, arguably the most famous athlete, had won million fans not only because of his performance, but also his brash, trash-talking style in his early years. Ali was also known as a figure of social justice and he spoke boldly against racism and stand against Vietnam War.
Ali redefined what it meant to be an American athlete – especially an African-American athlete. After he refuse the army drafting for Vietnam War, his boxing title was stripped off and he was absence from boxing for nearly four years. Many argued this led to the end of his boxing careers, but it is not.
Deprived of his title in 1967 because of his religious beliefs as a Muslim and his stance on the war in Southeast Asia, notably Vietnam, Ali took his case all the way to to the Supreme Court, where in 1971 his conviction overturned. Thus, from this point-break, Ali became a tireless human right ambassador and philanthropist whose impact was felt worldwide.
He was invited several times to the White House, appeared in late-night show, countless TV special, sitcoms, cartoons, albums, films, and comic. Yes, I said it right, COMIC!
In this legendary DC comic, Muhammad Ali teamed up with Superman to save the earth from the alien invasion. Entitled "Superman vs Muhammad Ali" is an oversize comic book published by DC Comics in 1978. It was on an original story by Dennis O'Neil which was adapted by Neal Adams. From the cover, there are cameos from many characters both from DC comics and real life! Can you guess them all??
The plot begins with the alien who demands to fight the Earth's mightiest champion, if earth refuses, the alien will destroy the earth. Ali and Superman voluntarily comes forward. But Ali argued that Superman is not really from earth and has advantage because of the superpowers. Intrigued, the alien then decides that both of them should fight and the winner will fight the Alien mightiest fighter.
The Fight is broadcast on intergalactic television with Jimmy Olsen acts as the announcer. Depowered by the Red Sun, Superman take serious beatings from Ali, and then later defeated, after Ali urged the referee to call it technical knock-out. Yes, you heard that, SUPERMAN DEFEATED!
Long-story short, Ali facing against the Alien fighter, and Superman disabled the spaceship after regain recovery. But then Superman is badly hurt again, and the Earth was open to be destroyed. Knowing this, the Alien fighter becomes enraged, pissed-off against his leader and deposed him. Later the Alien fighter, Superman and Ali make peace, and Earth is saved.
The story later ended with Ali's saying: "Superman, WE are The Greatest!"
Although the plot sounds cheesy, it depicts Muhammad Ali and Superman as the Greatest, as their activities to convey the message of peace and truth. Pairing one of the recognized comic book icons, Superman with real-sports philanthropist figure like Muhammad Ali was a smart move to boost audiences. Now this story-arc became one of Muhammad Ali legacy in history of comic books.
Today a legend has passed away. Born great, died greater. We mourn the death of a man who, in difficult and turbulent times, stood upon the path of justice, a man who was often a lone voice for a reason and change, a man who shaped humanity for years to come.
We all have so much to learn from Muhammad Ali, a beacon of hope, excellence and inspiration.
Rest in peace Muhammad Ali.
As a muslim sayings: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (We surely belong to God and to Him we shall return)
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”
"The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."