Sunday, March 6, 2011

FOREVER YOUNG/our visit with Muhammad Ali.

My husband is sitting at 10:29 am watching the boxing match on HBO, which is not a live version, since he missed it.....but boxing is one of his favorite sports..

This takes me back to a time, when my husband and I went to Ice World, in Totowa, N.J.  were I believe four of our  American boxers had just come back from the Olympics.  This was one of two times I actually watched a boxing match at Ice World.

It was an exciting and memorable time for both of us, even though boxing is not one of my favorite sports, because I don't like to see men beat up on each other, I guess that's the mother in me, but still, I wouldn't have passed up the opportunity of being there.

And that brings up another boxing moment in my life. We lived in the Poconos, and had the opportunity of visiting the training camp of Muhammad Ali.

My daughter was about five months old,  and my sons were four years old, when they sat on Mr. Ali's lap.  It was a great moment in time.  Mr. Ali, was the most gentle and kindness man I ever met.  He always had a smile on his face, and told a joke or two.. making us all feel right at home.

But there was another time when we visited Mr. Ali's camp.  He was preparing to make his comeback, and take the title of "World Heavyweight Champion" away from Larry Holmes. That fight took place on October 3rd, 1980.

I almost didn't recognize Mr. Ali, because he had lost so much weight. and when he came out to greet the audience, he wasn't at his best.  I knew there was something wrong with him, he just didn't look good.

But  after he realized how he behaved, Mr Ali immediately apologized to all of us, for his abruptness.  He truly is one of the greats, and to admit he wasn't at his best took a lot of courage.....and for that I will always respect him.

But unfortunately, he lost the fight that year...and as you know he was later diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Yes there were many other boxers that trained in the Poconos, I didn't get to meet many, but my husband and sons did. For ex. Roberto Duran. and Joe Frazier two other great boxers of their  time.

So for me, Mr. Ali  and all the other great boxers, will always be FOREVER YOUNG