Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

The Greatest, The Poet: A look at Muhammad Ali's verse


Phoenix (USA), June 4: Muhammad Ali enlivened many of his news conference and training sessions with poems. They caused many people to laugh, some to cringe.

Ali dies aged 74; Tributes flow in

Ali could be Robert Frost in a robe; Maya Angelou with a championship belt, though his sometimes simplistic stanzas sometimes leaned more toward something out of a Dr. Seuss book. (Ali was The Greatest)

Muhammad Ali

He was a true beat poet - as in, he loved having a rhyme to have a reason to thump his latest rival. These helped make Ali one of the poet laureates of boxing.

"Everyone knew when I stepped in town,

I was the greatest fighter around.

A lot of people called me a clown,

But I am the one who called the round.

The people came to see a great fight,

But all I did was put out the light.

Never put your money against Cassius Clay,

For you will never have a lucky day."

In 1962, when Ali was still Cassius Clay.

"Now Clay swings with a right, what a beautiful swing.

And the punch raises the Bear clear out of the ring.

Liston is still rising, and the ref wears a frown.

For he can't start counting 'til Sonny comes down.

Now Liston disappears from view.

The crowd is getting frantic,

But our radar stations have picked him up. He's somewhere over the Atlantic.

Who would have thought when they came to the fight

That they'd witness the launching of a human satellite.

Yes, the crowd did not dream when they lay down their money

That they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny.

I am the greatest."

Part of a poem before his upset title victory over Sonny Liston Feb. 25, 1964.

"Joe's gonna come out smokin',

But I ain't gonna be jokin'.

This might shock and amaze ya,

But I'm going to destroy Joe Frazier."

Before losing to Joe Frazier in their first fight March 8, 1971.

"You think the world was shocked when Nixon resigned?

Wait 'til I whup George Foreman's behind.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

His hand can't hit what his eyes can't see.

Now you see me, now you don't.

George thinks he will, but I know he won't.

I done wrassled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale.

Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick.

I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."

Before regaining the title by upsetting George Foreman October 30, 1974.

"I got speed and endurance.

You'd better increase your insurance."

To Larry Holmes before his one-sided loss in a bid to become a heavyweight champion for the fourth time Oct. 2, 1980.


For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Love Cricket? Prove it! Play myKhel Fantasy Cricket here

Read more about: muhammad ali boxing sports usa
Story first published: Saturday, June 4, 2016, 13:04 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 4, 2016
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more