Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Muhammed Ali - A Charismatic Champion

We became fans somewhere in between Cassius Clay and Muhammed Ali. I vividly recall going with Joe to the closed-circuit fight between Clay and Liston. You know, the one that lasted one round! We were barely settled in our seats with excitement mounting, when it was time to leave the theater.

The next momentous occasion came when a dear family friend, Uncle Charlie, invited Joe and Brian to the then-world-famous Concord hotel to watch Ali train for a Frazier fight. Charlie loved our boys, always helping Joe coach Little League and watching their backs. He worked at the hotel. Needless to say, that was an opportunity to be cherished. It was on September 23, 1976, so Bri was just six years old. Christian, only three at the time, missed out, as did his Momma. However, Joe still speaks to the impressive size and stature of his all-time favorite boxer. The next day, Charlie surprised Bri with a poster signed by The Champ. It hangs to this day in my boy's office. Priceless. And bringing me to Gavin…

Way too young to remember the good ole days but educated by osmosis, he chose this picture for his Instragram post. I couldn't find one that better speaks to someone who spoke significant volumes both in and outside of the ring:
Rest in Peace, Champ.