Legendary commentator recalls Muhammad Ali's charisma
ONE of boxing's greatest ever commentators, "Colonel" Bob Sheridan, believes the late great Muhammad Ali carried a larger-than-life presence even in his down time.
Ali, the first person to win a world heavyweight title three times, succumbed to his long battle with Parkinson's disease as well as a respiratory illness in a Phoenix hospital in the US this afternoon, at 74.
He was the self-proclaimed "Greatest of All Time" - once the most recognisable athlete in the world - and millions would agree he was simply the best.
But just as much as his boxing exploits, Ali was also revered by millions for his strong and inspirational views as a conscientious objector against the Vietnam War, and his anti-racism stance from the 1960s and beyond.
His steadfast views on politics and his fearlessness when speaking about his opponents inspired countless other people to stand up for what they believed in.
One of Ali's most famous sayings which inspired generations was this:
"Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."
Ali's death is now being mourned across the world.
But Sheridan, who had a "very close relationship" with Ali, recalled with joy how the boxing champion and influential activist was always a charismatic presence, even in his down time.
"He was always fun to be around but he was always distracted because there were always a million people around him," Sheridan told Australian Regional Media when he was in Brisbane in April covering the Jeff Horn v Randall Bailey welterweight fight.
"I spent (one) afternoon with him.
"He was just resting and watching cartoons, and when the media came he let up three or four of the top, top media guys and he was right back on stage again.
"That was Ali - he was totally aware of the media."
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