Saturday, 4 June 2016

Muhammad Ali

MUHAMMAD ALI… Truly the greatest. Remember being backstage at the Oscars the year When We Were Kings won. Have never witnessed such a reaction for a star. Awestruck standing ovation in the press room. I swear even Jack Nicholson, who’d led him in, was getting teary behind his Ray-Bans. That said, three hours earlier, I’d watched outside as a hunched, shaky figure shuffled up the red carpet, cocking a wry grin over the fact that the E! Entertainment door-stoppers had failed to recognise him, swarming instead over the gown of some Actress-Nude Model-Whatever (Jenny McCarthy if memory serves, who’d apparently put said item on back-to-front). Wistful nostalgia, but people forget how TV-mainstream boxing was in the ‘70s, before it became a pay-per-view freakshow. A big heavyweight bout would give the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show a run for its money. Remember being at a Blondie gig in 1978 with Debbie Harry breaking off to lead the Birmingham Odeon in a chant of “Ali.. Ali…” (he was fighting Leon Spinks later on). Not sure if this got played last night, but Richard Dunn’s bout didn’t go quite the same distance…
Yorkshire TV look back on the World Heavyweight Fight between Ali & Dunn.

1 comment:

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