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Word Count: 643
Boxing in the early 60s largely controlled by the people was in a failing state until Muhammad Ali-Cassius Clay in those days-appeared on the scene Though Ali won the gold medal at the Rome Olympics in 1960 at the time the experts didnt think much of his boxing skills His head eyes wide seemed to float above the action Rather than slip a punch the traditional defensive move it was his habit to sway back bending at the waist-a tactic that appalled the experts Madness Neither did they approve of his personal behavior the self-promotions I am the greatest his association with the Muslims and giving up his slave name for Muhammad Ali I dont have to be what you want me to be Im free to be what I want the poetry his ability to create rhymes on the run could very well qualify him as the first rapper or the witticism If Ali says a mosquito can pull a plow dont ask how Snag him up At the press conferences the reporters were angry Ali would turn on them Why aint you taking notice or Why aint you laughing The public as well had a hard time accepting him His fight for the heavyweight championship in Miami against Sonny Liston was sparsely attended Indeed public sentiment was for Liston a Mob-controlled thug to take care of the lippy upstart Liston concurred saying he was going to put his fist so far down his opponents throat he was going to have trouble removing it Then of course three years after Ali defended the championship there came the public criticism for his refusal to join the Army during the Vietnam War-I aint got no quarrel with them Viet Cong-one of the more telling remarks of the era The government prosecuted him for draft dodging and the boxing commissions took away his license He was idle for 3 12 years at the peak of his career
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