History | Jan 17 2019

On This Day: Cassius Marcellus Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, is born in 1942

Matt Christie pays tribute to the enduring greatness of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali
Action Images/Sporting Pictures

TUBES of flesh wrapped the old man’s stomach as he sat on his stool and waited for the bell. Dark rings gathered on his face, threatening to take the life from his eyes. Muhammad Ali’s final appearance as a prizefighter in December 1981 was a sad parody of what had come before. For the first time in his 39 years he knew he could not compete.

“I just couldn’t do what I wanted to,” he whispered when it was all over. His speech was slurred, the early effects of neurological deterioration stealing the edge from his words.

Register now to keep reading

We're chuffed that you are enjoying our website. To continue reading and to help us to provide the best coverage and a great online experience please take a few moments to register. You'll be able to read more online content and get the latest news via the Daily Jabs newsletter.

For unlimited access to all our award-winning content including exclusive subscriber-only stories and a digital archive of editions back to January 2012 you will need to subscribe

Got an account? Sign in