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Sports Then and Now



Can America Have One More Muhammad Ali in Near Future? 6

Posted on April 20, 2017 by Tom Schapiro

Ali-ListonSport has the compelling power of bringing together millions of people, irrespective of their gender, color, nationality, age or religion. USA, being one of the most culturally diverse countries has historically embraced people from all ethnic and demographic background in its truly inclusive society. But, owing to the present-day scenario, will it be possible for a Muslim to become a sports legend, for example, someone like Muhammad Ali? With the prejudice against Muslims in American society will they be presented with an equal opportunity to excel in any field, let alone a competitive one as sports? Mr. Bader Radwan, Aldoury.com analyst, has explored the current trends in the USA to identify what chances the Muslims have here to create a place for themselves:

Will the USA administration provide the support to exceptionally talented Muslim sports person seeking asylum from Muslim countries for taking their career forward? Also, will the same kind of support be provided to American-Muslim children showing talent in any specific field? Will it be possible for another Muhammad Ali to come up as an American sports legend or inspirational hero? According to Radwan, it would be interesting to observe in coming few years if administrative, infrastructure and economic support would be provided by the Government to attract American-Muslims to be the part of a cohesive society. Read the rest of this entry →

Remembering Sports Greats We Lost in 2016 4

Posted on December 31, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Muhammad Ali won the Heavyweight Boxing Championship three times during his career.

Muhammad Ali won the Heavyweight Boxing Championship three times during his career.

While it is inevitable that every year we say goodbye to some of those who shaped sports history, it seems like 2016 included more than the normal share of all-time sports legends. Muhammad Ali and Arnold Palmer were not just sports legends, they were national icons whose celebrity transcended sports. At their peak, Pat Summitt and Gordie Howe were synonymous with their respective sports. In addition, the year included the death of several well-known members of the sports media as well as a number of accomplished coaches.

Below is a brief remembrance of some of the sports greats who passed away in 2016:

Muhammad Ali: While it is not difficult to poke holes into Ali’s self-proclaimed moniker as the “Greatest of All-Time”, there is little doubt that during his peak, Ali was one of the most recognized people on the planet. An Olympic boxing champion in 1960, Ali (then known as Cassius Clay), won the Heavyweight title in February 1964 with a sixth-round TKO of champion Sonny Liston. Ali, who was 22-years-old at the time he won the title, maintained the belt until 1967 when it was stripped following his federal conviction for refusing draft induction. It would be more than three years before Ali would return to the boxing ring. During the 1970s, Ali regained the Heavyweight title twice more while participating in some of the most iconic boxing matches of all-time. He fought Joe Frazier three times, winning the last two, and also defeated George Foreman in the “Rumble in the Jungle.” After retiring in 1980, the once polarizing Ali developed into an American icon. His battle with Parkinson’s syndrome over the last two decades saw the charismatic Ali struggle to communicate, but he was often in the public eye.

Ralph Branca: Branca won 88 games and as a three-time All-Star during his 12 year Major League career, but he is best known for giving up the “Shot Heard Round the World” to Bobby Thomson during the 1951 National League Playoff between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. He had only eight career wins before going 21-12 with a 2.67 ERA during the 1947 season. However, what Branca is perhaps best known for during the 1947 season was his willingness to stand next to teammate Jackie Robinson at the beginning of the season when others were reluctant. Branca won 13 or more games three other times during his career.

Dennis Byrd: Byrd’s NFL career was cut short in 1992 when he was paralyzed as a result of an on-field hit. He recovered enough to walk onto the field to start the 1993 season and went on to be a motivational speaker. He died as a result of a car accident in October.
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Vintage Videos: Remembering Muhammad Ali 9

Posted on June 04, 2016 by Dean Hybl
Though he had previously won an Olympic gold medal, Muhammad Ali burst on the scene with a stunning defeat of Sonny Liston and was the most recognized boxer in the world for generations.

Though he had previously won an Olympic gold medal, Muhammad Ali burst on the scene with a stunning defeat of Sonny Liston and was the most recognized boxer in the world for generations.

Though boxing legend Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74, images of his amazing career and life will live on forever in video and photos. Below are links to some YouTube videos featuring some of the greatest moments from his legendary career.

While Ali had many great “sound bites” and television moments, his time on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and most especially with Howard Cosell probably propelled him to superstardom as much as any other activities from within his career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Muhammad Ali’s Idol – Sugar Ray Robinson 3

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Tony Samboras
The legendary Muhammad Ali considered Sugar Ray Robinson among his early idols.

The legendary Muhammad Ali considered Sugar Ray Robinson among his early idols.

Recognized as one of the most remarkable boxers of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson is also Muhammad Ali’s idol. History tells us that the legendary boxer held the Welterweight world title for six years (1946-1951).

Free bets in favor of Sugar Ray rose up as from 1958 when the fighter became the first sportsman to scoop divisional world championship for the fifth time.

Born in the year 1921, Sugar Ray is arguably one of, if not the best boxers of all time. In 1940, Sugar Ray turned pro and won his first fight. Sugar Ray spent a quarter century engaging in professional boxing and the twenty-five years of active fighting, Sugar Ray won the world Welterweight and Middleweight titles.

Free bets during the twenty-five years attracted both pundits and fans alike in favor of Ray. Having a successful career, Sugar Ray was referred to as being “Pound for Pound, The best”. Sugar Ray Robinson ended his boxing career in 1965, retiring from the sport having scooped 175 victories. Read the rest of this entry →

Happy 70th Birthday Muhammad Ali! 59

Posted on January 17, 2012 by Dean Hybl

The man who would become a polorizing figure in the 1960s and the most recognized sports figure in the world was born in Louisville, Kentucky 70 years ago.

In honor of the 70th birthday of one of the great sports personalities of the 20th Century, Sports Then and Now has selected some YouTube moments to remember the remarkable career of the self-proclaimed “Greatest of All-Time.”

Born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942 with the name Cassius Marcellus Clay, Muhammad Ali emerged on the boxing scene in 1960 when he won Light Heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Olympics.

He defeated Sonny Liston to win the Heavyweight Title on February 25, 1964 and held it for more than three years with nine title defenses before he was stripped of the title after refusing induction into the U.S. Army.

Ali returned to the ring in 1970 and claimed the WBA and/or WBC Heavyweight Championship two more times during his career. Overall, he went 56-5 in his career, including 22 wins where he either won or regained the WBA and/or WBC Heavyweight title.

Below are some videos featuring the greatness of Muhammad Ali:

Read the rest of this entry →

Joe Frazier Was a Great Fighter and a Great Champion 35

Posted on November 08, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali in the "Fight of the Century" in 1971.

The boxing world lost one of its greatest champions Monday night with the death of former Heavyweight Champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier at the age of 67 following a brief battle with cancer.

Though he is probably best known for losses in the ring to Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, Frazier did defeat Ali in the “Fight of the Century” and was a key figure in what could be considered the greatest era in modern boxing history.

In the 1970s, being the Heavyweight Champion of the World was as important a title as any in sports. From humble beginning, Frazier went on to proudly hold the undisputed title for nearly three years.

Born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina, Frazier moved to New York in 1959 and soon became one of the top amateur fighters in the Northeast. He won the Middle Atlantic Golden Gloves heavyweight championship three straight years from 1962-64 and was the only American boxer to win a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics.

When Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight crown in 1967, Frazier was among several boxers who stepped into the mix. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • George Musso: From Longshot to Hall of Famer
      August 5, 2017 | 4:52 pm
      George Musso

      George Musso

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month went from small college long shot to Pro Football Hall of Famer.

      When George Musso finished his college career at Millikin College in 1933, Chicago Bears coach George Halas offered the 6-foot-2, 265 pound lineman a tryout and eventually a $90 per game contract, but had serious doubts whether he could make the transition from small college football to the NFL.

      It took a year for Musso to adjust, but by 1935 he was an All-Pro tackle. Two years later, he moved to guard and again earned first team All-NFL honors. He became the first player in NFL history to earn first team All-League honors at two different positions.

      Read more »

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