the shadow of Ali and Lennon - By Mortz C.Ortigoza
Phillipines August 8, 2009 - Muhammad Ali became the greatest when he shocked the boxing world by defeating the dangerous and then heavyweight champion Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964 with his graceful hand and foot speed -- despite the alleged chemicals put on Liston’s gloves by his corner to undermine Ali's vision.
He also used the rope-a-dope to knock-out puncher George Forman in Round 8 in their tussle in October 30, 1974. (The then undefeated Foreman was the boxer that made the feet of Joe Frazier jerked-off half a foot from the platform before the latter landed to the dais knocked-out after he was hit to the jaw by Foreman’s right upper-cut. Frazier was the guy who gave Ali that bestial devil-may-care aborted 15th Round mayhem Thrilla’ in Manila in October 1, 1975)
But Ali’s greatness was punctuated after he joined the black mass protest movement questioning the immoral policy of the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration of sending to Vietnam young black Americans to kill Vietnamese who Ali famously protested: "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong ... They never called me nigger .”
He argued that these people were fighting for self-preservation and independence.
In April 1967, Ali’s recalcitrance to join the army cost his arrest and guilty verdict because of draft evasion He was stripped of his World Boxing Association heavy weight crown, and the government revoked his license to box that cost him out of the ring for nearly four years.
On June 28, 1971, the U.S Supreme Court unanimously reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals in convicting him of war evasion.
John Lennon is the greatest because he wowed the world because of his genius in composing anti-war songs like “All you Need is Love”. “Revolution”, “Give Peace a Chance”, “War is Over”, and “Imagine”. “Imagine” is timeless as it is being played as the final song in every New Year’s celebration around the world. It is iconic because it made us ponder about the world without violence.
Lennon’s greatness was punctuated after he found himself at the receiving end of the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Immigration and Naturalization Service who want him out of the U.S because of the fear of then President Richard Nixon to win his reelection.
Lennon was an active and influential leader of street protest movement against Nixon and his Vietnam War policy that cost the U.S taxpayers tens of millions of dollars per days and the unceasing arrivals of body bags daily in its airports and naval ports to the war that the U.S could not win.
In short the duo used their popularity to fight evil, while Pacquiao has not even lifted it yet.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum was wrong when he declared Pacquaio was greater than Ali after he knocked-out Lightweight champ Ricky Hatton.
Many boxing spectators worth their salt would jeer that the Englishman was already a damaged “goods” after he fought Luis Collazo and Floyd Mayweather.
Fans of Pacquaio were wrong when they believed he was already the greatest when he humbled Oscar de la Hoya, as everybody in boxing would say that Oscar was not only fighting Manny at that time, but was fighting also his lethargic over drained body in 145 pounds.
Even if Pacquaio defeats Floyd Mayweather and Rocky Balboa next year, he could not still be at the level of Ali and Lennon because he lacks political correctness that the duo possessed. They fought political immorality, while Pacquaio succumbed to it as evidence of his association with the unpopular President Gloria Arroyo- whom every one knows --except Manny probably—would go to jail after she is sued with non-bail able crimes of plunder after she stepped-out from office in June 30, 2010.
While Ali and Lennon merciless denounced the malfeasances of Nixon, the gullible Pacquio praised before national TV the president’s deceptive State of the Nation Address who he said inspired him.
And added to all and sundry to hear, that he would willingly ask the president to raise his hand for posterity incase he runs for political office next year.
Son of gun, that what makes him ocean apart with Ali and Lennon.