I just finished seeing a great documentary called "When We Were Kings" about the 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Congo (then called Zaire). Mobutu, president at the time, put up US $10,000,000 to have them fight in an arena in Kinshasa. The fight was phenomenal, watched by both Congolese and Americans. Its amazing to see these two boxers, one a hilarious trash talker, the other a calm buddha-like reincarnation, prepare for the fight amidst the discovery of a new country, an awareness of self as a black American, a pawn to promoters, a sex symbol, a hero and a bad guy. All these emotions are tugged from you throughout the documentary set to fast-paced action and incredibly well-timed sound effects.
When I think of Muhammad Ali, I see the old guy with a bent back, hands shaking with Parkinson and a gentle air to him. This movie shows the POW, the charisma, the power, the charm of Muhammed Ali at age 30. What a presence (Ali, if youre reading this and single, please marry me)...
Heck, I hate sports movies but loved this documentary. Next time youre at blockbusters, rent it will ya? I promise you wont be disappointed.
Some timeless Ali quotes:
"Float like a butterfly.
Sting like a bee.
Your hands can't hit
what your eyes can't see."
"If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize."
"I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark."
"That all you got, George?"
What Ali whispered into George Foreman's ear in a late round clinch during the Rumble in the Jungle.
"It's not bragging if you can back it up."
"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
"If they can make penicillin out of mouldy bread, they can sure make something out of you."
"I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest."
"Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it, and I didn't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name - it means beloved of God - and I insist people use it when speaking to me and of me."