I’m not ducking and running from nothing. There’s people dancing on a ship. Sir Michael who has described Ali as the “most extraordinary man I have met” questioned the boxer on his views on religion and race and he was as outspoken outside of ring as he was on it. And I just can’t see myself with a man on the ropes and just to prove how bad I am - and I see in his eyes, his head, he’s hopeless - and I’m just deliberately hitting. MP: Were you in a gang as a kid - were you running with a gang? I can remember a couple of real fights when I ran. Too dangerous. Black folks couldn’t eat downtown. There ain’t no such thing as black Muslims. I had something to do, which most kids really need. MP: What about also being a champion, a thing that I’ve often wondered about, do you get people coming up to you and wanting to take a swing at you? I am not Elijah Muhammad. It’s a rough sport being punched on all the time.

And I was due to fight him in Las Vegas and I was on television saying something like this.

Frazier’s still rising but the referee wears a frown.

MA: What do you mean pacifist. James Ellis was in a critical state after the fight and I pulled offa him. MA: I’m defeating America’s so-called threats and enemies. But Elijah Muhammad has been on record as saying he believes white men are devils. MP: Can we go back to your childhood? I said, ‘Momma, why is everything white?’ I always wondered. Muhammad Ali in 1967 (World Journal Tribune photo by Ira Rosenberg, Library of Congress) The PBS documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali, covers the boxing champ's struggles outside the ring during the tumultuous mid-1960s, when his refusal to serve in the military during the Vietnam War led to him being stripped of his title, and nearly cost him his freedom. And when I heard it, I’ve been free ever since. Not only did Muhammad Ali have a big presence inside the ring as a professional boxer, the sports legend also had an even bigger presence outside of it. If you talk jive you’ll fall in five. MP: You hear it from some champions, saying that every guy thinks they can fight you or take you on. MA: Well, number one: he is ugly. You know we’re different. I was in a Broadway musical called Big Time Buck Wright. I’m going to dance and be pretty. Look at the kid carry the fight. I have to help the dope and prostitution problem. MA: A swing at ME?
Are you fearless? I was so busy I didn’t have time to run in street gangs.
It’s really silly, when you think about fighting. That’s how they tried to cut off all my brothers in the rest of the world and divide us in America and make other Muslims think that we are not with them. Muhammad Ali was a global superstar when he was interviewed by Michael Parkinson in 1971. I am beautiful. But the people didn’t know. If you knew it was God calling you would fight for God. Like how would a Chinese look named Robert Smith? The history is the history of the devil. You think I’m going to appear on American television and tell you I don’t believe in what Elijah Muhammad teach and I’m one of his number one main followers? But I was so wrapped up in boxing since I was 12. When really they’re not happy because she got some Puerto Rican music, he’s got him some Chinese music and they’re going to be clashing all the time. They used to always say I was a second class citizen. So I wrote a poem and I’m going to close with this: When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. I was always at the gymnasium every day at six o’clock after school. Was John F Kennedy a devil?

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