Josh Q. Public: Now you find the younger guys are putting up resistance and you're almost beaten to the punch. You better get out now because you'll never go the distance and you're almost beaten to the punch. -Elvis Costello
Public Service Announcement: OK, here we go. Whatever happened to the great American heavyweight? The Heavyweight Champeen of the World. It used mean to something. It used to mean a lot. A whole lot. It used to stir my pot. It used to float my yacht. But it seems so long ago, I almost forgot. But I didn't. I remember. Remember the good old days. Boy, the way Glenn Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade. Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days. Like my main man Jake LaMotta always says: "I remember those cheers. They still ring in my ears. After years, they remain in my thoughts." Yes they do Jake, yes they do. At present, three of the four heavyweight championship belts are in the possession of boxers from former Soviet republics. Well the Ukraine girls may really knock me out. They may leave the west behind. And Moscow girls may make me sing and shout, but the great American heavyweight is always on my my my my my my my my my mind. The Russians have far too many constanants for my tastes. Wladimir Klitschko. Nicolay Valuev. Sergei Liakhovich. Oleg Maskaev. What a disgrace. I consider it a challenge before the whole human race. And I ain't gonna lose. We are the champions my friends! Ah, the champions. I wonder, yes I wah-wah-wah-wah-wonder, where have all the great heavyweight fighters of my lifetime gone? Whatever happened to the guys who ate lightning? Whatever happened to the guys who crapped thunder? So here it is. Here is my small tribute to the greatest heavyweight fighter and the greatest heavyweight fight I ever saw:
Muhammad Ali: Ali was the first boxer to come into my radar. My Radar O'Reilly. He came in floating like a butterfly. He came in stinging like a bee. Ooohh la la, ah oui oui. I say Muhammad Ali. You say Cassius Clay. I say ****, you say Parkay. He's the greatest either way. The greatest show on earth. The most recognizable man on earth. More recognizable than His Airness. More recognizable than Tiger. More recognizable than Bend It. More recognizable than anybody. Shook the world. Shook my world. Shook my world back in 1975. He was a fast machine. He kept his motor clean. He was the best **** fighter I had ever seen! The Thrilla in Manilla. The first fight I ever saw. It will be a killa and a chilla and a thrilla, when I get the gorilla In Manila! The finale of the Ali/Frazier troika. The Ali/Frazier jump for joyka. Best **** fight ever, boyka! Right from the giddyup we knew we were witnessing greatness. Heavyweightness. From here to the Golden Stateness. In the fourth round Ali busted Frazier's mouth open. Busted it wide open. Frazier just kept on a coming. The fight became ferocious, furious, vicious, merciless. In the sixth round, Frazier threw a left hook that Angelo Dundee says was the hardest shot he had ever seen. The hardest there's ever been. I couldn't believe my TV screen. It landed on Ali's jaw, and spun his head clear around. Regan MacNeil style. Somehow, Ali ate the shot and said to Frazier: "They told me Joe Frazier was washed up." The fight began to turn Frazier's way. It was becoming his day. He began to put on a display. His body shots drove into Ali's kidneys, ribs and liver. Body blow! Body blow! Body blow! Go for the ribs, don't let that **** breathe! They seemed to suck the life out of Ali. "****!" Frazier said to his corner after the bell, "What's keeping that motherfuckin fool up?" But in rounds twelve and thirteen, Ali delivers forty-three punches to Frazier's head. Dawn of the Dead. I am the greatest he said. Down does not go Frazier! You never got me down, Ray. Ya hear me? Never got me down. More of the same in fourteen. Smokin' Joe wobbles but he don't fall down. After round fourteen, Frazier's face is one huge lump. One huge bump. One huge clump. His left eye completely shut. He ain't pretty no more. When the round ended, the referee had to guide Joe back to his corner because he could not see where he was. Frazier's trainer Eddie Futch: "Sit down, son, it's over. But no one will ever forget what you did here today." No they won't Eddie, no they won't. Frazier: "Man, I hit him with punches that'd bring down the walls of a city. Lawdy, lawdy, he's a great champion." Yes he was Joe, yes he was. Ali: "It was the closest thing to death that I could feel." Tonight, we have had the privilege of witnessing the greatest exhibition of guts and stamina in the history of the ring! Ali fought some more. Won some more. But was never the same. That fight proved to me, he truly was the Greatest.
Peace out homies. Six two and even!