Vladimir Pozner on Muhammad Ali: "He became a symbol of honesty and courage not only for America"

Vladimir Pozner on Muhammad Ali: "He became a symbol of honesty and courage not only for America"

Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers in history of professional boxing. During his career he won 56 professional fights out of 61. He passed away on June 3, 2016. Next day journalist Vladimir Pozner discussed his life and career in a video, broadcasted by Russia's Channel One:

"He was a great boxer. I think he was the best heavyweight in history. He was, as he called himself, the greatest. He converted to Islam, challenging society, and instead of his name, Cassius Clay, he took the name Mohammed Ali. During his fights, after each round he asked his opponent: "What's my name? What's my name?" He had tremendous courage.

Later, during the Vietnam War, he refused to serve in the American army. His phrase "I ain’t got nothing against them Vietcong", became famous all over the world. He lost his title and was banned from boxing. This happened when he was in his prime, but, speaking of the Vietnamese people, he said: "They haven't lynched me, they didn't call me a nigger, and you want me to shoot them? Better put me in jail.”

What Ali did was an example for many. He refused to betray his own principles. He refused to yield to the government machine, he was not afraid that he, a Muslim, will be forgotten. He became a symbol of honesty and courage, and not only for America.

If I had to choose five people I would like to interview the most, Ali would be the first."

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