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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Happy Birthday Muhammed Ali! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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mastermindreader
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Not only "The Greatest" but a long time fan of magic, today is is 70th birthday.

Happy birthday!
Al Angello
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I once went to his camp in the country outside of Reading, PA, and he showed me daughter the Professor's Nightmare.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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critter
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The Greatest.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2012-01-17 06:54, mastermindreader wrote:
Not only "The Greatest" but a long time fan of magic, today is is 70th birthday.

Happy birthday!


Yea but doesn't he "expose" magic as well because of religious beliefs about telling lies? (This is a rumor I heard I am trying to clarify.)
Danny Doyle
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Al Angello
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Danny
Muslims believe that magic is evil, so Ali reveals his tricks after performing them to demonstrate that he is only doing tricks.
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Marlin1894
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Quote:
Muslims believe that magic is evil, so Ali reveals his tricks after performing them to demonstrate that he is only doing tricks.


Demonstrate to whom? Allah?
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2012-01-17 12:11, Al Angello wrote:
Danny
Muslims believe that magic is evil, so Ali reveals his tricks after performing them to demonstrate that he is only doing tricks.


This was what I was brought to understand. I just didn't want to level an accusation at the man without knowing it was the truth. Thank you.

I do find it a bit odd how doing a "trick" is evil but punching another man in the face repeatidly until he falls down for more than 10 seconds is fine with Allah. I must be misunderstanding. (That last part was part joke, part serious.)
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
LobowolfXXX
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Image


In honor of the greatest, here's a copy of a painting of his. I have one of the 500 of these (but not this one).

I also have a much bigger version of this one (also autographed by both Ali and Frazier):

Image


And finally...my Ali top-10, considering my own wholly subjective blend of how good he was in the fight, how significant the fight was, and whatever else strikes me:

1. Ali-Frazier I The "Fight of the Century." Both were undefeated going in. Although this was a loss for Ali, I think it has to go at the top of the list, because it was the one fight of Ali's that truly transcended sports. Right in the middle of the Vietnam War, this fight symbolized everything that people loved or hated about Ali. It was "us" vs. "them," whichever side you're on, with Frazier (unfairly) painted in an extremely negative light. It was about whether Ali could shake off the rust from the years he had lost from refusing to be inducted into the military. It was two guys with legitimate claims to be called "champion," and it was Mad Max meets reality TV - two men enter, one man leaves (with the belt, at least). Frazier fought Ali and Foreman 5 times, and he lost 4 of those fights, but on March 8, 1971, Smokin' Joe was, undoubtedly, "The Greatest."

2. Ali-Foreman The "Rumble in the Jungle." Ali was the big underdog, and with good reason - he had lost to Frazier, and Frazier had been absolutely dismantled by Foreman, suffering 6 knockdowns in a round and a half. If you only know Foreman as the bald, jolly, grill-hawking dude you see today, look at his film clips from the mid-70s. He'll scare the living hell out of you. And Ali's plan, even unbeknownst to his trainer, was to stand still and let Foreman hit him. Some ringside experts actually thought Ali was throwing the fight. He took the shots on his arms and body, covered up his head, and stayed on his feet, and when Foreman tired, Ali struck...and become the second man ever to regain the heavyweight title.

3. Ali-Frazier III The "Thrilla in Manila." Ali had won the rematch against Frazier; this was the tiebreaker, and it was an epic battle of wills, with momentum changes and nonstop action. At various times, it seemed like the fight must surely be over in favor of one fighter, then the other. Interviews with Ali and his trainer, Angelo Dundee, have suggested that Ali might not have answered the bell for the 15th round, but Frazier's corner threw in the towel first, at which point, Ali immediately collapsed from exhaustion. Ali later claimed that this fight was closest he'd come to dying.

4. Ali-Williams Not a particularly historically significant fight, but generally acknowledged as Ali at his best. Williams was a little past prime, but he was still a big, hard-hitting, quality opponent with wins and solid efforts against top contenders, and he took a 65-5 (with 1 draw) record into the ring against Ali. It didn't go three rounds, as Williams hit the canvas four times, and Ali made his 7th successful title defense in less than two years.

5. Ali-Liston I The fight that started it all. Huge underdog Ali against the man who had twice destroyed the previous world champion in less than a round. Ali promised a win, and he got one.

6. Ali-Spinks II Ali becomes the first man to regain the heavyweight title TWICE. After losing a clear decision to Spinks earlier in the year, Ali, at 36, was thought to be finished. But he came back to win a one-sided decision in the rematch and make history, in his last victory.

7. Ali-Shavers Earnie Shavers is on every expert's short list of the hardest hitting punches of all time (and at the top of some lists...he had 69 knockouts in his 75 wins). Ali called Shavers the hardest puncher he ever fought, by far, and he fought Foreman, Liston, Frazier, and more. In the second round, Shavers almost took him out. As Ali later famously said, "He hit me so hard, he jarred my kinfolk in Africa." Ali survived and went on to win a close but unanimous decision.

8. Ali-Wepner Gotta include this one, just for Ali's part in launching a career and a franchise, because this movie inspired a struggling actor-writer to crank out a Hemingwayesque script showing Wepner's grace in defeat, and valiant effort against all odds. When he refused to sell his script unless he was cast in the lead, Sylverster Stallone became, in the words of Richard Crenna, Hollywood's only self-made man. "Rocky" won Stallone his Oscar (for the screenplay), and a career was born. Carl Weathers was great, but Ali was the original Apollo Creed.

9. Ali-Bonavena Bonavena was legendarily tough and durable. On the post-suspension comeback trail, Ali was trying to prove to the world that he was still the greatest, Frazier notwithstanding. Frazier had ground out a decision victory of Bonavena, and it looked like Ali was going to, also...then in the 15th round, Ali somehow found another level to take it to, knocking down Bonavena not once, not twice, but three times, and getting the TKO win the definitively proved (in Ali's mind) that he was the real champ.

10. Ali-Quarry II Jerry Quarry was a serious badazz Irishman. That Shavers dude that hurt Ali and lost a 15-round decision? Quarry knocked him out in the first. Quarry also beat Ron Lyle, Buster Mathis, Floyd Patterson, and other contenders. It wasn't earth-shattering, or historically significant, but Ali looked really, really good stopping him in 7 without losing a round.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

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critter
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I have my Adidas Muhammad Ali track jacket that I wear whenever the weather is right for it. Got it in Vegas at the outlets 5 years ago and wish I'd bought 2 because it's my favorite jacket.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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mastermindreader
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Great summary Lobo!

I agree with your fight selection, but I would quibble, just a bit, with the order of your first three choices.

I would have put the "Rumble in the Jungle" first, the "Thrilla in Manila" second, and the "Fight of the Century" third.

Three of the greatest fights I've ever seen.

Good thoughts,

Bob
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He lives in Phoenix,Az where he is very active in the community with fundraisers and
Parkinson's Disease awareness issues. He is a wonderful man in person. He always carries a TT and red silk everywhere he goes. It helps him with the shakes he says.
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LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2012-01-17 14:03, mastermindreader wrote:
Great summary Lobo!

I agree with your fight selection, but I would quibble, just a bit, with the order of your first three choices.

I would have put the "Rumble in the Jungle" first, the "Thrilla in Manila" second, and the "Fight of the Century" third.

Three of the greatest fights I've ever seen.

Good thoughts,

Bob


If I were doing it just for the fights themselves, I'd put The Thrilla, then the Rumble, then the FOTC. But Ali-Frazier I had so much political subtext at such a critical time (probably more than anything since Louis-Schmeling) that I felt I had to put it first.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
S2000magician
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On 2012-01-17 12:37, Marlin1894 wrote:
Quote:
Muslims believe that magic is evil, so Ali reveals his tricks after performing them to demonstrate that he is only doing tricks.

Demonstrate to whom? Allah?

Amongst others, Mike Wallace (if memory serve) on 60 Minutes.
Al Angello
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Danny
A bit off topic, but there were 4 Saudi's citizens visitors at our last local IBM meeting, they admitted feeling very wicked eating oreos, with diet soda at a magic meeting, and they loved every trick like 8 year old kids.

Marlin1894
If you go back to the second post of this thread I said that Ali showed me and my 8 year old daughter Professors Nightmare. After he performed the trick he laughed, and showed her how he fooled everybody. The Ali employees in the room rolled there eyes which gave me the feeling that he did magic for every visitor he had visit him at his camp.

Ali did a trick for Ed Bradley on 60 minutes, laughed, and showed Ed how it was done.
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S2000magician
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On 2012-01-17 16:23, Al Angello wrote:
Ali did I believe a thumb tip trick for Ed Bradley on 60 minutes, laughed, and showed Ed how it was done.

Now that you mention it, I believe that you're correct: Ed Bradley, not Mike Wallace; that makes more sense. He also showed everyone watching 60 minutes how it was done.
Marlin1894
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On 2012-01-17 16:23, Al Angello wrote:
Marlin1894
If you go back to the second post of this thread I said that Ali showed me and my 8 year old daughter Professors Nightmare. After he performed the trick he laughed, and showed her how he fooled everybody. The Ali employees in the room rolled there eyes which gave me the feeling that he did magic for every visitor he had visit him at his camp.

Ali did I believe a thumb tip trick for Ed Bradley, laughed, and showed Ed how it was done.


I know,I know. He did magic tricks for everyone. He annoyed the hell out of Ken Norton with magic tricks when Ken was laid up in the hospital. And he usually exposed them. I just don't believe he exposed them for religious reasons despite what he might have said. After all, Ali said a lot of crazy things. I'm not really mad about it or anything.
Al Angello
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Where's Balducci?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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motown
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Quote:
On 2012-01-17 06:54, mastermindreader wrote:
Not only "The Greatest" but a long time fan of magic, today is is 70th birthday.

Happy birthday!
Bob,

Your right about that. Several years ago, I was at one of the Abbott Get-Togethers and
had the opportunity to meet Ali, who hd come by for a bit. At the time Muhammad had
a farm in Berrien Sprins, Michigan. Anyone remember that?

If your ever in Louisville, check out his museum. Pretty nice.

Happy Birthday Champ!
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Marlin1894
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Where's Balducci?


His post count may be down a little bit today. With Wikipedia being blacked out and all.
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I love Ali. One of my heros growing up, and still one today.

One of my favorite images from any sporting event is that classic photo of Ali (still Clay at that point), at the end of the second fight with Liston. The one where Liston is on his back, and Ali is standing over him screaming at him to get up because the fight wasn't over yet. The rage on Ali's face is amazing.

It always seemed like a perfect, iconic image of everything that happened in the '60s.
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