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Category: Muhammad Ali

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From the archive: Muhammad Ali considers retirement in 1975

Sports writer Hugh McIlvanney tries to keep up with the great boxerThe legendary sports writer Hugh McIlvanney, who died earlier this year, wrote about ‘The mad world of Muhammad Ali’ for the 23 March 1975 issue of the Observer Magazine. McIlvanney had…

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Gerry Cranham, Simply The Best – in pictures

Over the course of a career which spanned half a century, photographer Gerry Cranham led the field of sports photography, defining how we understand this genre today. Now in his 90th year, this ground-breaking artist’s legacy will be exhibited at the M…

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Boxing quiz: Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and heavyweight title fights

Who stopped Ali? Who beat Bruno? Who won in 52 seconds? What has Tyson Fury said he will do with the money he makes from his fight with Deontay Wilder?Buy a luxury yacht and sail around the worldTake over and manage Morecambe, his local football clubOp…

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Trump floats pardon for Muhammad Ali even though boxing great doesn’t need one

President says he’s ‘thinking about that very seriously’, seemingly unaware that supreme court overturned Ali’s conviction in 1971Donald Trump said on Friday that he may grant a posthumous pardon to Muhammad Ali, seemingly unaware that the great boxer’…

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Memory Lane: inside the dressing room – in pictures

Every sporting venue contains a room that is home to scenes of jubilation, dejection, reflection, team talks, high jinks and everything in between. We have had a rummage in the archives to peak into the dressing rooms of yesteryear Continue reading…

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: ‘Trump is where he is because of his appeal to racism’

The basketball legend and social activist who counted Ali and King among his contemporaries discusses Colin Kaepernick, LaVar Ball and Trump’s America“Like all people my age I find the passage of time so startling,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says with a quie…

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The Ali summit: can a legendary meeting serve as a model for protesting athletes?

In 1967, athletes put their weight behind Muhammad Ali after he refused to be drafted. Fifty years later, NFL players are again taking a political standIn 1962, as a cornerback for the American Football League’s Boston Patriots, Walter Beach rallied hi…

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Trump v the NFL: the latest battle in a long war over sports, race and politics

Before the nation was introduced to Colin Kaepernick, a line of athletes embodied the struggle to overcome racial discrimination in American sports“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people …

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After flooring Klitschko, Anthony Joshua now has the world at his feet

Victory in epic title fight before crowd of 90,000 at Wembley has experts predicting Muhammad Ali-like greatness for boxer

One image above all lingers in the memory from Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night. It is of the 27-year-old from Watford glowering at his crumpled opponent in a pose strikingly reminiscent of Muhammad Ali after he had knocked out Sonny Liston.

Ali quickly went from having Liston to the world at his feet. Joshua’s entourage and assorted experts lined up on Sunday to predict that he would soon follow suit.

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Muhammad Ali remembered by Davis Miller

17 January 1942 – 3 June 2016
Davis Miller, who has written two books on his hero, became close friends with the boxer when he visited Ali’s home in 1988

• Johan Cruyff remembered by Bob Wilson
• Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2016 in full here

I’m about as agnostic as you can be, but throughout my life it’s as if Muhammad Ali has saved me. We shared a birthday, 17 January. When, as a young child, my mum died, I was nearly catatonically depressed, I didn’t speak with anyone. But just watching Ali on television lifted me out of that. Partly because of that experience, Ali influenced me to become a writer, and for much of the last 30 years that I have known him, he has been my principal subject. Without Ali I might be selling cars.

He always needed to pull up the carpet of the universe and see what was underneath

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Muhammad Ali remembered by Davis Miller

17 January 1942 – 3 June 2016
Davis Miller, who has written two books on his hero, became close friends with the boxer when he visited Ali’s home in 1988

• Johan Cruyff remembered by Bob Wilson
• Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2016 in full here

I’m about as agnostic as you can be, but throughout my life it’s as if Muhammad Ali has saved me. We shared a birthday, 17 January. When, as a young child, my mum died, I was nearly catatonically depressed, I didn’t speak with anyone. But just watching Ali on television lifted me out of that. Partly because of that experience, Ali influenced me to become a writer, and for much of the last 30 years that I have known him, he has been my principal subject. Without Ali I might be selling cars.

He always needed to pull up the carpet of the universe and see what was underneath

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Hugh McIlvanney: ‘Nothing meant more than reporting on Muhammad Ali’

The veteran sports correspondent on the many satisfactions brought by working on the Observer
• Click here for more on the Observer at 225

In a sense, I arrived at the Observer in 1962 on a false passport. My formative years in the business were as a news reporter and occasional feature writer until, at the Scotsman in my mid-20s, I was persuaded to write about sport. So I was conspicuously devoid of executive credentials when the Observer took me on as assistant sports editor. Within about three weeks I contrived to get a piece in the newspaper, and before too long I was given the chance to be chief sports writer.

There was an almost Dickensian atmosphere about the Tudor Street offices. We had a grandfather clock in the corner of the sports office and I remember Danny Blanchflower, the great Tottenham midfielder, was doing a column for us, and he complained that the ticking of the clock was upsetting his concentration. Later, of course, in other premises, we had the normal clatter and chatter of newspaper offices. Now they are a bit like libraries, quiet enough to preserve Danny’s concentration.

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Preparations for Muhammad Ali’s greatest fight – in pictures

Peter Angelo Simon went behind the scenes at Muhammad Ali’s training camp 42 years ago, as the boxer prepared for the greatest fight of his career – the contest against George Foreman in Zaire, dubbed ‘the rumble in the jungle’. His intimate and candid shots of Ali, most of them previously unseen, have been collected in a new book, Muhammad Ali: Fighter’s Heaven 1974 which is published on 15 August by Reel Art Press. Here he talks us through a selection of the images

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What does Muhammad Ali tell us about the nature of modern fame? | Sonia Sodha

The boxer was a catalyst for social change. Unlike today’s celebrities with their selfies and perfume lines

A eulogy from a former president; thousands of people lining the streets of Louisville; international leaders flying in for the funeral; Will Smith and Lennox Lewis among the pallbearers. The scale of Muhammad Ali’s funeral on Friday makes it easy to forget he wasn’t always universally adored. The long arc of his celebrity spans more than 50 years and includes periods when he was a pariah in white, mainstream America.

Ali embraced his celebrity but it seemed to compel him towards, rather than away from, saying things that challenged the social norms of the time. He used his platform to champion civil rights even where it earned him notoriety, and his refusal of the draft in 1967 cost him his world title and earned a three-year boxing ban. He also associated with controversial black supremacist movements and ideas that he later renounced.

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Watch Muhammad Ali’s widow and daughter speak at packed memorial

Muhammad Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, took the stage at her husband’s memorial to thunderous chants on Friday. In her first public remarks since his death, she talked about how Ali wanted to be remembered after his passing. ‘[Muhammad] wanted to use his life and his death as a teaching moment. He wanted to remind people who are suffering that he had seen the face of injustice,’ she said. Ali’s daughter, Rasheda Ali-Walsh, also spoke at the service

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Obama pays tribute to Muhammad Ali: ‘a personal hero of mine’ – video

Barack Obama paid tribute to Muhammad Ali on Friday, though he wasn’t able to attend the funeral service in Louisville, Kentucky, for the boxing great, due to a scheduling conflict. The US president spoke about ‘The Greatest’ at the White House, noting Ali’s remarkable career and impact on his own life, including his run for the White House

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Hundreds line Louisville streets before Muhammad Ali’s funeral – video

Hundreds of people lined the streets in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday to say farewell to their hero, the late great boxer Muhammad Ali. A hearse carried his body through the city, passing landmarks such as his boyhood home on the west end, traditiona…

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Muhammad Ali honored in Louisville: ‘he perfected gifts that we all have’

Family, famous friends, imams, pastors, rabbis and a former president of the United States took turns speaking about Ali in his Kentucky hometown Friday

Thousands of Muhammad Ali’s admirers, from the unknown to the powerful, packed a Louisville arena on Friday to honor the great boxer and humanitarian.

Related: Muhammad Ali’s funeral: fans line streets of Louisville as burial service begins – live

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Muhammad Ali’s funeral procession – in pictures

Thousands of people lined the streets of the boxer’s home town of Louisville, Kentucky, to pay their last respects to the boxing legend

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Muhammad Ali’s funeral draws American luminaries to Louisville – live

Bill Clinton, Billy Crystal and Will Smith among those gathering in Kentucky along the route of boxer’s 1960 Olympic gold medal parade

12.40pm BST

The funeral procession honoring Muhammad Ali, one of America’s most prominent and celebrated athletes, begins today in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali’s hometown.

The former heavyweight boxing champion and civil rights icon died on 3 June, in Scottsdale, Arizona, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

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