The GREATEST Still
In 1960, I was introduced to the world in a place called Rome
A place where gladiators battled at center stage, a place so far away from home
Young, robust, handsome; nah 'pretty', that's right 'pretty'
A product of Louisville, Kentucky with so much confidence, promise and ability
A 'sleeper', well, that's what so many thought of me because they said it just could not be done
But I shook up the world in '64 when I beat up the 'Bear', Sonny Liston
Metamorphosis of great degrees as I changed my name from Cassius to Muhammad Ali
A slave, I think not. Simply poetry in motion as I floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee
Unheard of and simply unprecedented for a man to be able to dance and shuffle 10, 12 or even 15 rounds and barely get hit
I was light on my feet, powerful with my punch and I had a spirit that said, 'NEVER QUIT'
In '67, Uncle Sam took away my belt when no boxer could, and called me a draft dodger
Three years gone just like that, but I turned inward and reached deeper
"Let it go Ali" "Move On" "This is the end of your story"
But little did they know that in 1970, I would get my second wind when I went to Georgia and beat up on poor Jerry Quarry
Some said I couldn't take a punch and went so far as to say I was afraid of getting hit
Well, apparently these people do not know history because in '73, I fought Big Norton 8 rounds with a broken jaw and I didn't retreat one bit
"Man you crazy?" "You gotta be crazy, talkin' 'bout fightin' Big George?"
It was time to reinvent myself with what I call the "Ropa Dope" and show the world who was really in charge
In '75, I was very much alive but I had never gotten so close to death
The "Thrilla in Manila", a time when I pushed Joe and Joe pushed me 'til we both had nothing left
Father time started to catch up with me in '78 as I lost and recaptured the championship for an unprecedented 3rd time against the young, brash 'Leon'
I still floated, I still danced, I still talked and I still carried the fight like one in a million
Larry caught up with me in '80 and Berbick got me in '81
By then it was all too apparent to myself and the world that the "Greatest of all times" was done
Dempsey, Johnson, Marciano, Louis, Liston, Norton, Foreman and Frazier were all good. Well, Frazier was damn good!
But I am the greatest of all times. And I never stepped into a ring without doing the best I could
LOVE, FAITH, HARD-WORK and INTEGRITY
This is how the LOUISVILLE LIP, formerly Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali
Copyright © Stewart Watkins | Year Posted 2017