Thursday, February 25, 2016

Today in 1964: Sunny Liston Brawled with Muhammad Ali

He was born January 17, 1942 as Cassius Clay ... 

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He could "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," as the popular saying of the day portrayed him.

I remember a little of that famous fight that occurred today in history in 1964.  It's the year Ali also changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.  He was 22, and he won the world heavyweight championship.  At 22!  Amazing, right?  You want to know the sad thing?  He suffered great adversity.

On religious grounds, he objected to enlisting in the Vietnam War.  The government arrested him, and boxing officials stripped him of his title.  But he appealed that drastic judgement; and in 1971, they overturned his conviction. Still, bad press and hostile public opinion kept him from boxing for four years.  Four years absence as a boxer is detrimental to a boxer's career!

Isn't it something when we let people, situations, opinions, and judgements keep us from our dreams?  Many people quit under the pressures of criticism and hatred.

Muhammad Ali didn't!  In 1974 and 1978, he came back fighting and won the world heavyweight title again.  He was, and still is, a man of God.

"Love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your strength.  This is the greatest and most important commandment.  And love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37-39).

Have a God-inspired day!


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