Pakistan

Muhammad Ali made two visits to Pakistan

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KARACHI: World greatest boxer Muhammad Ali made two memorable visits to Pakistan during his lifetime — in 1988 and 1989, ARY News reported on Saturday.

Muhammad Ali participated in fourth South Asian Games in 1989 in Islamabad as a special guest. His visit here was no less than an honor for Pakistanis. He visited Lahore’s Kinniard College in 1988 where he met and took pictures with students. He also met with common citizens during his visits.

King of Punjabi films, Sultan Rahi also took memorable pictures with him. He can be seen landing a punch on Ali’s jaw.

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The legendary boxer paid visit to Data Darbar in Lahore and made pictures with the then chief minister Punjab and current Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif as well.

The greatest boxer would be remembered forever not just because of his boxing but because of his efforts for humanitarian causes.

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More than 60 years ago, a bicycle thief in Louisville, Kentucky, unknowingly propelled one of the most amazing sports careers in history. An angry 12-year-old Cassius Clay went to a policeman on that day in 1954, vowing he would find the thief who took his bike and have his revenge. The policeman’s advice was to learn to box first so Clay, who would later change his name to Muhammad Ali, went to a gym, where he learned quite well, Reuters reported.

He would go on to be a record-setting heavyweight champion and also much more. Ali was handsome, bold and outspoken and became a symbol for black liberation as he stood up to the U.S. government by refusing to go into the Army for religious reasons.

As one of the best-known figures of the 20th century, Ali did not believe in modesty and proclaimed himself not only “the greatest” but “the double greatest.”

He died on Friday at the age of 74 after suffering for more than three decades with Parkinson’s syndrome, which stole his physical grace and killed his loquaciousness.

Americans had never seen an athlete – or perhaps any public figure – like Ali. He was heavyweight champ a record three times between 1964 and 1978, taking part in some of the sport’s most epic bouts. He was cocky and rebellious and psyched himself up by taunting opponents and reciting original poems that predicted the round in which he would knock them out in. The audacity caused many to despise Ali but endeared him to millions.

“He talked, he was handsome, he did wonderful things,” said George Foreman, a prominent Ali rival. “If you were 16 years old and wanted to copy somebody, it had to be Ali.”

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