Boxing suffered a major loss on June 3, 2016, when Muhammad Ali died after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease and a series of complications derived from his illness.
The greatness of Ali is indisputable as he left a huge legacy in the sport, but his importance for the people is what shows the true importance that he had as a fighter and as a figure for the world.
Ali was the most transcendent sportsman of the 21st century and that is not only because of what he did in the ring. The social struggles and the teachings of the native of Louisville, in addition to his particular charisma, made him more than an athlete as he became a reference of popular culture.
Books and very important songs have been inspired by the life and work of Muhammad Ali.
The success of the stories and writings inspired by him has been indisputable, in a demonstration of what this character meant for the world, even for those who were never boxing fans but saw in Ali as a source of inspiration and a very important figure of the collective.
When talking on books about Ali, one that comes to mind is “The Fight” by Norman Mailer.
One of the most interesting writings based on facts from the life of the former heavyweight champion that narrates one of Ali’s most important matches was the “Rumble in the Jungle”, in which he beat George Foreman in Zaire with a spectacular performance based on intelligence and patience.
Another very important book about Ali was “The King of the World”, by David Remnick, which talks about the life of the fighter and his influence in the social struggles of the 1960s, besides taking a look at the boxing of the time and to the events that were around regarding the black Muslims and the Martin Luther King movement.
People have also been very interested in what Ali has had to say and that’s why two autobiographical books “The Soul of the Butterfly” and “The Greatest: My Own History”, which he wrote in collaboration with Hana Ali and Richard Durham, respectively, have had enormous success.
In addition, his daughter Hana, would later write a book in solitary that she would title “More than a Hero”, which narrates the life of her father but from the eyes of the girl who grew up next to him and took from him a great example for life.
As for music, great singers such as Jorge Ben, Dennis Alcapone, Tom Russell, Johnny Wakelin and the GO Malebo Orchestra have composed pieces inspired by the champion, which have been part of popular culture and have reflected the experiences of Ali fights.