Muhammad Ali still "The Greatest"

By Rizwaan Zahid
of The Boxing Amusement Park

I have written numerous articles on Muhammad Ali and although I am known for being wordy, there's really no new way of saying that Muhammad Ali is the greatest of all time. This past Sunday, the Louisville native who changed the sport of boxing -- and frankly the world -- turned 68 years old. Since his rise to boxing stardom in the late 1950ís and early 60ís, Aliís words and fights have caught the attention of young and old, black and white, boxing and non-boxing fans, plus everybody in between. I have written many piecesabout Muhammad Ali and his life, but this time I will simply offer one of the many example of Aliís greatness.
October 30, 1974, Kinshasa, Zaire. The date and location of one of the most intriguing boxing upsets in history. Ali was nearly 33. The boxer in the opposite corner was a 25-year-old George Foreman.

Foremanís nickname was ďBigĒ simply because he was. A big fighter with big power, and a big threat who had big potential. The nearly 6-foot-4 220-pound Foreman had been walking through all foes, including the lone man who had beaten Ali at the time, Joe Frazier.
The bell rang for their contest and instead of using his boxing skills of jabbing and his impressive speed, Ali utilized what many considered the worst-possible tactic a fighter could use against Big George. He stayed on the ropes. While his corner implored him to get off the ropes, Ali continued his strategy. Eventually however his fans and his corner saw what Ali saw all along: Ali had figured out how to beat Foreman.

Foreman had devastating power, but you canít hurt what you canít hit, and Ali made George miss as much as possible. Big George was also quite slow and lacked quality stamina. Ali utilized what is now known as the ďrope-a-dope,Ē lying against the unusually loose ropes, then making Foreman pay whenever he missed.

Ali waited for the precise moment to counter, and he did in the eighth round with a right hand that sent Foreman to the ropes. As George bounced off the ropes Ali landed a left-right combo that sent George down. Ten seconds later, the fight was over and Ali raised his hands in triumph displaying what he knew all along. He was the greatest.
Over his career Ali had many moments which defined his greatness. His mouth always had him in trouble, however his fists always bailed him out. Other fighters since then have had their great moments as well. Ray Leonardís wins over Hagler and Hearns for example, or the reign of Mike Tyson. The difference is that Ali had all sorts of great moments and is the example of greatness.
I canít say it any other way. The greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali is still the greatest.
Happy Birthday Champ.

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Rizwaan Zahid

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rizwaan Zahid is in his senior year at Carleton University in Ottawa, pursuing his Mass Communications degree, with the future aspirations of becoming a professional sports journalist.
Although relatively young, Rizwaan has shown his passion of writing the beautiful sport of boxing and has worked with Bragging Rights Corner, Boxing Banter, Diamond Boxing,
Fightfan.com, East Side Boxing as well as The Fight Network for over three years. With Fightfan.com, Rizwaan has been awarded the feature article of the month numerous times.
Over these past few years, Rizwaan has interviewed and conducted conferences with fighters and trainers such as Jeff Mayweather, Jermaine Taylor, Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr., Jackie Kallen, Wayne McCullough, Manny Pacquaio, Wladimir Klitsckho and Emmanuel Steward.

Although boxing has been his main focus over the years, Rizwaan still has a strong passion for many other sports and has covered various sports in The Charlatan, Carleton University's newspaper.
Rizwaan has also worked with PHASE 1 Basketball, a camp based out of Toronto which is a showcase for the best basketball Canada has to offer on various levels, as well as the Out of Left Field blog which attracts numerous readers daily.

Rizwaan Zahid hopes to continue his efforts in journalism in the world of sports.
Contact Rizwaan