When did the public and media start rooting for Muhammad Ali?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by MoneyMay1, Dec 18, 2021.

  1. MoneyMay1

    MoneyMay1 Member Full Member

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    Question for those of you who lived during Muhammad Ali's reigns, when did the public and the media turn towards Ali's side? Looking back at the reports at the time, it was startling to see how much hatred Ali received during the exile period. It's fascinating how the media still called him Cassius Clay into the late 60's even into the 70's. I watched a video of fans outside of MSG predicting the outcome of the Ali/Frazier FOTC and most of the fans called him Clay.

    Towards the end of his career, it was clear that Ali was the fan favorite. The fans were overwhelmingly on his side during the Norton Yankees Stadium fight.
     
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  2. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    You can probably trace the public's feeling regarding Ali with the public's feeling concerning the Vietnam war he refused to be inducted into. Ish.
     
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  3. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    The Foreman fight turned him into a treasure.
     
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  4. mark ant

    mark ant Duran's speed moving in would make Ali hit air Full Member

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    When the counter culture started during the Vietnam war, Ali became a symbol for young lefties and went around college campases doing speeches and getting a great response, it was right wingers still calling him Clay, the left started to love him.
     
  5. mark ant

    mark ant Duran's speed moving in would make Ali hit air Full Member

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    Most people wanted Ali to win that fight.
     
  6. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    So true, the American public was immensely opposed to the Vietnam war that was escalated in 1964 by then President Lyndon B. Johnson, by 1968, it was evident that there were many draft resistors and protestors that dragged down the popularity of LBJ, that he decided not to seek another term. Muhammad Ali became more popular in his return to the ring on Oct 26 1970 against Jerry Quarry, Ali's last fight was a title defense against Zora Folley on March 22 1967, Ali was stripped of his title and boxing license because he refused to get drafted.
     
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  7. MixedMartialLaw

    MixedMartialLaw Boards don’t hit back Full Member

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    When the counter culture embraced him and then when the counter culture become mainstream, so the time from his suspension in 67 to his return in 70.

    To many Americans he was a traitor in '67 because he didn't support serving in Vietnam, to a martyr for his cause in just 3 years later. Public support for Vietnam plummeted in that period.
     
  8. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    The war was very unnecessary to begin with, no one can make another nation change their ways. It was orchestrated for economical purposes, and because in an indirect way we were fighting against the Soviet Union who was giving the North Vietnamese weapons to use on us. Before JFK was assassinate in 1963, he had a memorandum pulling us out of Vietnam, when LBJ took over, he escalated the war, we were never attacked like at Pearl Harbor. Frankly it was none of our business, I do feel for the brave men and woman who served but a lot were either maimed or killed for political reason alone. Ali stated why should I go fight against people who never tried to hurt me, I am not free at home. It was a witch hunt because Ali was not subservient, only to be seen and not heard.
     
  9. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I know I was in the minority (especially among vets), but I liked him from the beginning. In the general USA population of fight fans, I think the majority tide turned positive for Ali (though some still hated him) by the time he fought Quarry the 1st time.
     
  10. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    From what I remember there were death threats made to Muhammad Ali's training camp, remember it was 1970 in Atlanta, Georgia.
     
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  11. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    JFK: “In the final analysis, it’s their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it.” Those words sealed his fate, some believe.
     
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  12. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    So true, makes you wonder about LBJ, he wanted to be president awful bad.
     
  13. LoadedGlove

    LoadedGlove Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Absolutely Richard M. The Vietnam War was hugely unpopular here in the UK. Fight fans here had, largely, taken to Ali when he came over in '63 and '66 and his stand for civil rights and against the war chimed hugely with '60's Britain.
     
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  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Excellent.
     
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  15. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

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    I wasn't around, so this is only my superficial impression based on nothing, but I wonder whether Ali losing to Frazier and Norton had anything to do with it.

    Ali acting like Ali and being undefeated could be insufferable. Ali as an underdog is more fun. When Ali ran around claiming to be the greatest after losing to Frazier, while simultaneously climbing a bit in age, you realized he's a human being trying to entertain you with a fun act. Not an arrogant superman thumbing his nose at you.

    But I wasn't there. So what do I know.
     
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