“It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges and I believe in myself.”
They called him the G.O.A.T. for good reason. His epic boxing bouts are etched in history, yet one must never forget how many of Ali’s greatest fights seemed to inevitably take place outside of the ring. A devout Muslim, his world heavyweight title was taken away in 1967 and he was suspended from boxing for three and a half years for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army because of his religious beliefs. When Ali returned to the ring in 1974, the odds seemed stacked against the 32-year-old, deemed too old then, as he prepared to battle the 25-year-old reigning champ George Foreman for what would become the Rumble in the Jungle. Most believed Ali was ill prepared to face Foreman, a fellow Olympic gold medalist like himself and man who had 40 wins with 37 knockouts! But Ali believed in himself and that’s where it counted most. In fact, after his win, he once said, “Some were asking, ‘Can Allah save Ali?’ What do you mean can Allah save Ali? Allah can save nations. They were putting God on the spot. It would have been terrible if I had got myself beat.” And in 2014, when I wrote a story in honor of the 40th anniversary of the historic match in Africa, Foreman reminded me about the measure of a man that Ali truly was. His diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 1984 placed a spotlight on the neurodegenerative disorder, showcasing that he might have been down physically but he was never out spiritually. Each day of his life was a new battle but his faith carried him until the very end of his 74 years of life. What more could one ask of the Greatest Of All Time.
The Ultimate Test Of Faith
That's What Friends Are For
One might call Muhammad Ali the original rapper. His witty rhymes and humorous verbal jabs were just as powerful and memorable as his punches. So when Ali could no longer talk, his best friend, Howard Bingham, a man who speaks with a stutter, would become Ali's most beautiful voice. "I speak to him everyday and I understand him,"Bingham once told me in 2011. That's called the language of love.
DocM.A.C. signing off. Keep the faith and always trust the process. #OnwardUpward
I am Dr. Margena A. Christian aka DocM.A.C. Some folks feel my way with words, so I thought I would drop a few random "soul lessons" with a little bit of this and a whole lot of that. Keep the faith and always trust the process.