QUOTE (Cheesey1 @ Feb 2 2013, 08:22 PM)
Ali getting waylaid by the system in his prime, definitely affected him. As an overall boxing product (in and outside of the ring), I'm fine with him being considered the greatest. Inside the ring, the debates can go on forever.
Plus, he was such a good role model of an upright family man, with no marriage vices that I know about. I don't remember whether his conversion to Islam had an influence on him in that respect, or if he was naturally so.
Ali neither learnt nor knew/know how to read, yet he was very sharp of intellect with regards to politics, religion, and popular science; he bested his interviewers greater than 90% of the time in my estimation, and voiced the most catchy and memorable poems and prose ever by any sportsman, dead or alive.
"I float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee."
"....telling all the people out there
Who're betting on Sonny
That I'm gonna lose their money."
"It's gonna be
And a chiller,
When I meet the Gorilla,
"I predict that tonight [vs Liston, 1] somebody will die at ringside from shock!"
Overall, Ali made it such a thrilling era.
Were it not for his brushes with the then law and establishment, there would never have been any controversy or disagreement over Ali's uniqueness or greatness. But then, there would not have been the complete package, "Ali."