“I am the Greatest” – Muhammad Ali

Muhamad Ali
‘I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ‘em out, I pick the round.’

Muhammad, an incredible technically skilled boxer, enormously propelled his career with self promotional Rock Star tactics such as claiming “I am The Greatest!”

His non-boxing (or non-geek if you prefer) skills were greatly responsible for his enormous success.

Muhammad Ali is certainly one of the greatest boxers to live, both in the ring and out of the ring.

He was well known for “trash talking” his opponents and perhaps demoralizing them, angering them, or giving them false confidence before his fights; whatever it did, it worked.

He won ALL his bouts in the 1960, every single one!

He was a Golden Gloves champion starting in 1959 and an Olympic Gold Medalist.

Muhammad had enormous geek, his technical boxing skills, PLUS a lot more!

He had his “technical geek” down – his boxing skills. Geek is essential, but will only get you so far . . .

Notice he simply declared “I am The Greatest!” – No one gave him permission; he just claimed it!

He is an incredibly colorful character, which enormously helped his boxing career, and a man of deep principal, which enormously hurt his boxing career. He missed 3 ½ years of his prime career because of deep held convictions. He is an awesome dude.

“I am The Greatest!”

He is perhaps best known for claiming “I am The Greatest,” along with his fights against Sonny Liston, George Foreman, and Joe Frazier.

Was he “The Greatest” and did it matter? Of course he’s been asked, and now, in retirement, he just laughs and says how could you tell? Was he better or worse than some of the greatest who preceded him, for example by boxing legends Jack Dempsey, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano from the late 1800s and early 1900s? There is obviously no answer.

As Muhammad explains, how could you ever tell and what does it matter?

However, once he started claiming “I am The Greatest!” the boxing arenas started filling up. Some came to see him win, some came to see him lose, but it didn’t matter, the arenas filled up!

Muhammad Ali is a Rock Star both because of his Geek (boxing) and his non-Geek (promotional and other) skills.

I’m sure he was initially greatly pushing his comfort zone by making brash claims and his self promotional tactics! And they worked!

Muhammad is actually an incredibly humble man. In 2005 he declared “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given.”

Muhammad believes in Hard Work

Muhammad Ali believes in hard work and he wants to inspire people “to be the best” they can be.

When his fans wanted to build a museum to highlight his achievements, instead he “wanted a place that would inspire people to be the best that they could be at whatever they chose to do, and to encourage them to be respectful of one another.”

Yup, Muhammad Ali is one inspirational dude we can learn a lot from him.

And his Rock Star activities continue post retirement from boxing . . .

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    • l0xb4by
    • January 17, 2015

    Love Muhammad Ali, but friend and promoter Howard Cosell bugged me horribly. Not saying Cosell didn’t do some good things on the social front, and his and Ali’s joking about Cosell’s obvious wig (which had previously fallen off during an onstage scuffle) showed a fun loving side of him, but Cosell just bugged me.

    You know Muhammad was just hospitalized?

      • Ted Demopoulos
      • January 17, 2015

      Muhammad has been released – quick google shows it was a urinary track infection, and last month he was hospitalized with a mild case of pneumonia.
      Let’s hope he lives a looooog time – he’s a great guy and doing some great humanitarian work.

      Incidentally, a friend met Howard Cosell and had dinner with him. Called him the most pompous and annoying man he ever met!

    • Ruth
    • January 20, 2015

    I’ve long been a Muhammad Ali (nee Cassius Clay) fan! Great athlete, showman, and humanitarian – true man of principle!

    Never saw the parallels with what we do until now – nice, job Mister Ted

    • Fyodor
    • January 20, 2015

    I love how Ali just did it, just said “I am The Greatest!”

    Didn’t ask permission, didn’t want acceptance, just went for it! He just took action, he just did it.
    We can learn from him for certain!

    • Ron
    • January 30, 2015

    Muhammad Ali – true rock star, and not just because he was “The Champion!”

    • Baldo Bobbo
    • August 22, 2015

    Pretty impressive guy.
    He understood he was not just an athlete; he was a performer, a showman. It was his job to entertain and he took it seriously.

    Used to watch him, I’m told, when I was a baby with my Uncle who was a massive fan.

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