Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Written on Jun, 23, 2016 by in | Comments Off on MUHAMMED ALI FLOORING SONNY LISTON
Brain, speed and guts made Ali the greatest. A belligerent underdog, known as Cassius Clay at the age of 22, intimidated the most ferocious World Heavyweight Boxing champion Sonny Liston, promising boxing fans he'd "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." Liston was feared for destroying the former champion Floyd Patterson by a first-round knockout in 1962. Ali doubled his bragging to bait Liston to fight him, shouting "I'm gonna to put that ugly bear on the floor and after that fight I'm gonna build myself a pretty home and use him as a bearskin rug." True to his word, when the fight came in 1964, he completely demoralised Liston and by the 6th round was hitting him at will. Liston gave up at the opening of the 7th round by throwing his gumshield in the ring. On their return bout in 1965, Ali floored him in the 7th round. It was Ali's 20th professional fight. Next morning he declared that he had become a Black Muslim and was renouncing his "slave name" of Cassius Marcellus Clay, and would thenceforward be known as Muhammad Ali. Ali was not a religious man and, by his own reckoning, he became a true believer in 1983. Muhammad Ali died on June 3 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. His funeral took place on June 10 2016 at Louisville - his hometown in Kentucky. The world is mourning his death. He was my sporting idol. I watched all his fights on TV like everyone in Britain. I have also just seen on TV the video clips of his big fights. As Ali got older and heavier he lost his dance known as Ali Shuffle after only 2 or 3 rounds. He resorted to grabbing the neck of his opponents that was against the rule but, no referee ever dared to disqualify him. There was great excitement in Britain, more so in Bradford where I live, when Richard Dunn from around here, who was working as a labourer at building sites in Bradford, was going to fight Ali. I met Richard. He was heavyweight champion of Britain, commonwealth and Europe. The city of Bradford was so enthused that a newly built sports centre was named after him before the fight. When the fight in Munich on May 24 1976 was shown on TV, the aging Ali (34), demolished him with such ease, knocking him down 5 times in the 5 rounds that lasted. Bradford Council was so ashamed that it wanted to change 'Richard Dunn Sports Centre' to some other name, but couldn't. Ali called himself the 'greatest' and made really good the claim. He turned such brutal sport of boxing where two people are trying to knock each other's head, into a sport enjoyable by everybody, especially awaiting his prediction in which round he was going to knock out his opponent. He did that fairly successfully in earlier fights. When he said he was the "prettiest", he was not exaggerating, without a single mark on his face from boxing. Ali was the most dazzling and charming personality of his age. Wherever he was he exuded warmth and pleasure to others with good humour and unremitting self-promotion that, outwardly, he intended to be serious. He became the most universally recognised figure in the world. I remember him saying with his razor-sharp wit on a TV chatshow in London, that he was more famous than Jesus Christ. And the world agreed with him. Though he earned many million dollars more than all the heavyweights combined, he lived only comfortably. His fortune went to the Black Muslim and many charities, after converting himself to Islam and joining the Nation of Islam under his guru Elijah Muhammad. Ali, besides his exterior gimmicks, was humble, friendly and eminently approachable. He had his training place called 'Deer Lake Training Camp' in Pennsylvania, about 500 km from Louisville. There, he welcomed every visitor, with no entourage and no security. The camp at a 5-acre site on top of a secluded mountain where he trained throughout the 1970s is boxing fans' dream bed-and-breakfast destination where figures like Frank Sinatra and Sylvester Stallone stayed. They are primarily log-cabins including the house Ali lived in, his gym, kitchen hall, and horse stable. There are 10 cabins that housed Ali's team and sparing partners. The cabins are dotted with 18 giant boulders on which names of great boxers, like Joe Louis (black bomber), Rocky Marciano (white hope),Joe Frazier, Joe Foreman and others are painted. There was not much he did not master in his gargantuan era-defining career, from writing poetry to public speaking. In spite of scrapping the bottom in school he was extremely witty with gift of the gap. He was earning good money during the time he was stripped of his boxing license by giving lectures on boxing and life, at colleges including Princeton, Harvard, and Yale where he was very popular. Ali learnt boxing at the age of 12, after his bicycle had been stolen and a policeman called Joe martin persuaded him that the sport offered him the best of chastising the offender. With his dedication to training he soon turned out to be extraordinarily fast with quick reflexes to avoid incoming punches, even with his hands down. Then he developed "Ali shuffle" that confused his opponents in finding a target. Ali could absorb punches from the hardest hitters in the world. That's why he always looked as if he hadn't been hit. He always got up after being knocked down. Ali won 56 bouts including Joe Louis, with 37 knockouts against 5 defeats. When I was 13-14 years old, even in those days, we used to talk about Joe Louis, how he could punch a horse on the forehead and break its skull. I don't know how. He was a legend like Muhammad Ali. During his time he became the most popular black and one of the most popular of all Americans. I was very disappointed when I saw him in the Rupmahal cinema hall, knocked out of the ring by young Rocky Marciano in 2 minutes and 36 seconds in October 1951. Only that clip was shown. Later, after reading a glossy boxing magazine 'The Ring' that I used to subscribe, I knew it was in round 8. He died in 1981, aged 66, penniless and a drug addict. Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 Olympics in Rome as Light heavyweight. He threw it away into the Ohio River on return, when he was refused entry to a burger joint in his own hometown because he was black. Ali won his first professional fight on points in 1960. He won his early fights easily. Over the next 3 years Ali beat 10 opponents in a row including Floyd Patterson and Archie Moore. Ali, who was regarded as white hater, became more unpopular among the white Americans in 1966 when he used the Black Muslim religion (Islam) as a conscientious objector to dodge the call-up into the American Army to fight in Vietnam. He linked his opposition to the war with his stand on civil rights. In April 1967 the New York State Athletic Commission stripped him of his license to box, and other boards soon followed suit. On June 20 1967, a Houston jury had found him guilty of draft evasion and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. He appealed and 3 months later the Supreme Court discovered a technical argument by which the case against Ali could be dropped. Eventually, the only jail sentence Ali served was for 10 days in 1968 - and that for driving without a license. He was however banned from boxing. Ali returned to the ring in 1970, having lost his ability to keep up his speed for more than a round or two. But, with a stronger will and confidence he fought the most fierce three fights: first against Joe Frazier in 1971 - known as "Fight of the Century". Ali won. His second fight known as "Rumble in the Jungle" against Joe Foreman in 1978 was more spectacular. Ali won. Following the fight his speech was slurred (beginning of Parkinson's disease; finally diagnosed in 1984 as Post-traumatic Parkinsonism caused by sustained injuries from boxing). In that year, he fought a young relative novice Leon Spinks and lost his title. He regained it 7 months later. Thus he became the first heavyweight who won the championship on 3 separate occasions. By 1980, Ali's face became a mask because of Parkinsonism. Yet for money and fame, he fought Trevor Birkbeck in 1981, losing on points to him. Ali retired. It was very sad to see him last, trying to light the Olympic torch with his shaking left hand, at Atlanta in July 1996. At the end of the games, he was presented with a new gold medal to replace the one he had thrown away in 1960. As he kissed it, he inspired waves of affection from the crowd and throughout the world. Muhammad Ali, who married 4 times, died aged 74 with respiratory infection when his life battery ran out. He is survived by his 7 daughters and a son from his 3 previous marriages, and by his widow Leonine and an adopted son.

Brain, speed and guts made Ali the greatest. A belligerent underdog, known as Cassius Clay at the age of 22, intimidated the most ferocious World Heavyweight Boxing champion Sonny Liston, promising boxing fans he’d “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Liston was feared for destroying the former champion Floyd Patterson by a first-round knockout in 1962. Ali doubled …

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Written on Jun, 19, 2016 by in | Comments Off on MEITEIS AS ‘OBC’ – CHEATED OUT
MEITEIS AS 'OBC' - CHEATED OUT

The way I write my columns is intended to educate youngsters, remembering my college days, and even more importantly, to entertain, with a mix of informative texts and imagination, achieving a balance between humour and fact. I am not usually scared by little things. Little does not cut me to the core or strikes a visceral fear. But, an order …

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Written on Jun, 12, 2016 by in | Comments Off on A CHRISTIAN THOUGHT FOR MANIPUR FROM A BIBLE READER
A CHRISTIAN THOUGHT FOR MANIPUR FROM A BIBLE READER

In Manipur, do we still need missionaries from the outside, like  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – widely known as Mormons, who vigorously engage in proselytising?  Mia culpa – if we do. These missionaries make us look dense “unreached people”. The gospel of Jesus Christ tells anyone who wants to know about Christianity . Paul said: it …

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Written on Jun, 05, 2016 by in | Comments Off on SHAKESPEARE’S 400th DEATH ANNIVERSARY ON APRIL 23 2016
SHAKESPEARE'S 400th DEATH ANNIVERSARY ON APRIL 23 2016

William Shakespeare is most celebrated for his Romeo and Juliet – a cosmic spin-off for teenagers. It’s about love that every youth dreams of and often ends in disaster. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” has permeated any world educational party you care to mention. Shakespeare lived for 52 years (1564-1616). Britain has just celebrated his …

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