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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Muhammad Ali Edition

Rest in Peace, Champ. We're keeping this up all weekend for the Greatest.

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Growing up in Louisville, there are many things in which one takes pride. But one stands out above the rest and that is the fact that Louisville is the birthplace of Cassius Clay, the boy who would become the man known as Muhammad Ali.

Ali passed away at the age of 74.He won the heavyweight title in boxing in 1964 by defeating Sonny Liston in an upset and in one of the greatest sporting events of all time. He followed that up with many epic fights against Joe Frazier, George Foreman, taking them on in cultural events such as The Thrilla in Manilla and The Rumble in the Jungle.

Ali was not only a sports icon but a cultural icon and a civil rights icon. He spoke out against racism and segregation He changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali after joining the Nation of Islam. He refused to be inducted into the army in 1967 to fight the Vietnam War for religious reasons. For this stance, Ali was stripped of his title and banned from boxing for three years.

Ali was one of the more entertaining figures in sports history. His loud, boisterous persona became his trademark. His quotes still ring in the American conscious today.

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. Now you see me, now you don't. George thinks he will, but I know he won't

"I'm young; I'm handsome; I'm fast. I can't possibly be beat."

"I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."

"If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize."

"I'm so mean, I make medicine sick."

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth."

Ali was at the top of the boxing world when the sport meant something. When every fight was a cultural event. He provoked feelings within the public, whether they were positive or negative, he made the people feel something. He wasn't a robot that gave programmed answers to questions. He spoke from the heart and with conviction. He was one of the first athletes to speak passionately on matters of race, religion, and politics. And this is what set him apart and made him a legend. His athletic talent and prowess were undeniable, but his heart, his mind, and his mouth made him truly Great.

His professional record was 65-5 and he leaves behind four wives and nine children. Not only does the world of sports feel a little emptier today, but also the entire world. Rumble young man, rumble.

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Everything You Need to Read and Watch About Muhammad Ali - The Ringer
In honor of the Greatest, here is a guide to appreciating his life and legacy — and the undeniable impact he left behind.

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Muhammad Ali was an essential American - SI
Muhammad Ali was an essential American. He was a powerful pivot in American history. He was such a better American citizen than were the people who denigrated him for his brashness and spat on his religion.

Billy Crystal remembers Muhammad Ali with "15 Rounds" - ESPN
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal paid tribute to the three-time heavyweight champion by sharing his performance from Muhammad Ali's 1979 retirement ceremony.

How Muhammad Ali Woke Up Sportswriters - The Ringer
The boxing legend transformed "them" into "us"

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Kentucky baseball class ranked in Top-10 - Cats Pause
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SEC coaches propose moving conference's men's basketball title game to Saturday - ESPN
Just as many have clamoured for, SEC coaches have proposed moving the conference's men's basketball title game to Saturday, sources told ESPN.

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Muhammad Ali may have been the first truly free black man in America - Lexington Herald-Leader
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