The boxing universe is mourning. Everywhere in the world, the hearts of the wretched of the Earth are bleeding. The international boxing icon and legend Muhammad Ali has passed away friday night in Phoenix. The greatest champion of all times, who was hospitalized for breathing difficulties, died in Arizona at the age of 74. He was surrounded by several family members, including four of its nine children.
Olympic light-heavyweight champion in Rome in 1960, the Angelo Dundee’s protégé won the world heavyweight title four years later, when he knocked out Sonny Liston (1964). Uncontested master of the category, he gave to the crowds spectacular fights against Henry Cooper, George Chuvalo, Oscar Bonavena, Cleveland Williams, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton, Joe Frazier or George Foreman.
Fanciful, hypermedia, provocative, he revolutionized boxing with his unique air style and by dancing in the ring. His innate sense of the show had created some confusion among his observers.
He carried the hope of the weakest ones on his gloves…
In addition to his huge athletic performances, we will also remember him for his political commitments. Pacifist and humanist, Ali was opposed to the US war in Viet-Nam in 1967, and was totally involved in the fight against racism and discriminations. Jailed and stripped of his title because he refused to do his military service and to join the American troops, he always gave a biggest importance to his moral and spiritual convictions than to his financial interests. The Greatest had become, through the years, the voice of all the oppressed people suffering from the domination of the powerful ones : colonized and occupied people who were subjected to apartheid, segregation and disregard. Converted to Islam, he will draw from his deep faith all the strength that he needed in order to to respect his commitments.
Hated by the white racist America, he was the pride of the ethnic minorities and of the white people fond of equality and fraternity. His fights were a kind of metaphor of the emancipation of the colonized and dominated people and communities. Ali was boxing for them. He drew his energy into the love that the weakest ones brought him. He carried with all his heart and his gloves the hope of freedom. Each one of his successes was ringing as a victory against fatality. He also helped millions of humble and mistreated people all around the world to be aware of their own value.
Ali leaves us with a lasting legacy, an immortal message: human dignity is priceless and nothing could justify anyone to give it up. Never forget it.
Traduction anglaise réalisée par Amina NEGROUCHE