Not just because he was a great boxer and sportsman but because he taught the world how to believe in what you stand for and to stand up for what you believe in.
It’s not surprising that Bollywood took to social media in a massive way to mourn the loss of Muhammad Ali. The ‘greatest’ boxer’s connection with the Indian film industry goes a long way. The icon not only inspired films in Bollywood, the recent being ‘Saala Khadoos’, but had things gone as planned, he would have acted in a Hindi film with Amitabh Bachchan.
During his media interaction yesterday, Bachchan revealed, ‘I went to his home in 1979, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. He was simple, smiling and down to earth. The world knows of his achievements. Prakash Mehraji wanted to make a film with us and we had gone to his home to talk about it. That film didn’t happen but those moments that I spent with him were extremely memorable. I believe that he was the greatest and will always remain the greatest. His life, the obstacles he had to face, he not only fought in the ring, but outside as well.
He kept fighting all his life and in the end he emerged victorious. His life was unique. When he faced racial discrimination, he threw his gold medal in the river. He has written about it in his book. It’s so inspirational. He wasn’t just a sportsman. He motivated so many with his thoughts and even today the depth of his thinking inspires us. He was just 74. I am extremely saddened by his loss. ‘Unki aatma ko shanti miley’.’
SRK reportedly said in a recent interview, ‘When I was growing up, Muhammad Ali was my hero. I think he was a really cool guy, such a master and so artistic, with that sense of humour and then the tragedy. The toughest man on earth couldn’t even take the fly off his nose. His life makes for such a fascinating story.’
Abhishek had tweeted on Ali’s birthday, ‘My father introduced me to this giant in sports when I was a child. A true inspiration. Not just because he was a great boxer and sportsman but because he taught the world how to believe in what you stand for and to stand up for what you believe in.’
Documentaries and movies inspired by Muhammad Ali
Ali The Fighter (1977): This documentary gives a hint of the backstage tension between Ali and Joe Frazier’s three mythic bouts.
The Greatest (1977): The film starring Ali himself, records some of the less flattering moments of his life.
When We Were Kings (1996): It is about the 1974 heavyweight championship in the Republic of Zaire between George Foreman and Ali.
Ali (2001): The movie covers the pivotal decade of his life ‘ from victory against Sonny Liston to his conversion to Islam.
Facing Ali (2009): His opponents ‘ Earnie Shavers, Ken Norton and Larry Holmes – pay their respect to him at various stages of his career.
Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013): This film shows Ali not as a world famous boxer, but as a man who is ready to take a stand.
I Am Ali (2014): Here his friends, family and fellow boxers provide insight into the man behind the legendary pugilist.