Then heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali connects with a right in the ninth round of his title fight against Joe Frazier in Manila, Philippines, Oct. 1, 1975. Ali won the fight on a decision to retain the title.
Then heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali connects with a right in the ninth round of his title fight against Joe Frazier in Manila, Philippines, Oct. 1, 1975. Ali won the fight on a decision to retain the title. Mitsunori Chigita

OPINION: No one will ever be able to replace Ali

THIS week many will gather in Louisville, Kentucky in the United States for the funeral of Muhammad Ali.

Since the news broke of his death millions of people around the world have shared their thoughts on the man simply known as the greatest.

From touching tributes about his work outside the ring, to the critics attacking his legacy and the simple recounts of those close to him.

After a lot of thought I decided I wanted to write about Ali and how he impacted my life.

Whether you loved him or hated him it can't be denied he is one of if not the greatest boxers to compete inside the ring.

Since I was a little boy I would watch videos of Ali's fights and interviews and I was instantly swept away by him.

His charisma, intelligence and brash personality had me captivated and begging for more.

No one will ever be able to replace Ali or come close to emulating him inside or outside of the ring.

I remember watching his fight and seeing a man seem simply untouchable.

The way he would dance around the ring light on his feet, slipping punches and countering with a jab so fast a Japanese bullet train couldn't beat it.

He would pick his opponents apart with his speed and devastation combinations and simply outclass them.

Watching him compete had me wishing one day I could be as good as he was at my chosen sport.

However, what I will remember Ali for the most is for his ability as a wordsmith being as good if not better than his boxing ability.

Watching Ali fight and talk and the way he carried himself taught me many lessons.

He taught me that no matter how big the challenge or how overwhelming the task if you have self belief you can overcome it.

We saw this when he dominated and beat Sonny Liston and became the heavyweight champion.

I learned the importance of standing up for what you believe in no matter the consequences.

When he refused to be drafted into the United States Army to go to war.

Ali showed me that there is a fine line between confidence and humbleness but to always have both.

This was shown in every interview or press conference and in every fight in all his victories and in his loss in his last fight against Larry Holmes.

The most important lesson I learned from Ali is no matter who you are or where you're from you can change the world.

Rest in piece to the great one, the champ the man so fast he could 'handcuff lightening and throw thunder in jail.'

If heaven does exist I imagine everyone up there is already as captivated by Ali as we all were down here on Earth.

As it has been said many times over if you even dream of being as great as this man was and will forever be you better wake up and apologise.



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