Happy Birthday To Two Boxing Legends: Muhammad Ali And Marco Antonio Barrera!
By James Slater - Most boxing fans probably remember the date of January 17th due to today’s date being the birthday of “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali. However, another truly great fighter was also born on January 17th: in Mexico. 37-years ago today, Marco Antonio Barrera was born in Mexico City; 69 years ago today, Cassius Clay was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
Article posted on 17.01.2011
Practically anything and everything that can be written about Ali has been put down on the page; with every fight documented, every quote quoted and everything that Ali did to make himself so universally revered recalled over and over again. Hailed by millions of fans and experts as the finest heavyweight champion in boxing history, Ali is arguably as loved and as respected as ever here in 2011.
Sadly, as we also know, Ali’s health is poor these days, with the ravages of Parkinson’s refusing to let up. Today, though, the three-time heavyweight champion will celebrate his birthday and his fans will celebrate also. Fight news reports how The Ali Centre in Louisville will be crammed full with fans today, and those who are lucky enough to be there may even catch a glimpse of the great man. Doubtless if they do, these fans will be wishing to themselves, “if only Ali was the Ali of old..”
It’s hard to imagine what Ali would be like as a person today if he had not suffered from Parkinson’s. Would he still be a witty and genuinely funny man? Or would Ali be an insufferable bore, constantly putting down the current heavyweight rulers as fighters he would have annihilated in his prime? I suspect Ali would have been a little bit of both and a whole lot more. Maybe Ali would have remained a controversial figure, too?
As for “The Baby Faced Assassin,” he is still fighting at age 37 (Boxrec have him down as facing a TBA in Mexico next month). Wanting to beat former archrival Erik Morales to it in terms of becoming the first Mexican to capture world titles at four different weights, Barrera is reportedly looking to wind up his great career this year. Can Barrera achieve his goal and add even further to his legacy?
For now, we wish Marco and Muhammad a very happy birthday. Both guys will never be forgotten as long as there is a sport called boxing, and both men have surely earned the full respect of all fight fans; from the casual to the hardcore. it’s a cliché, sure, but there really will never be another Ali. For that matter, there will never be another Barrera!
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