Ghana’s Azumah Nelson is considered the ‘greatest African boxer,’ affectionately known as the ‘champ,’ Azumah has lauded the qualities of the late Muhammad Ali, who he emphasized was indeed, ‘the world’s greatest’ boxer.
‘‘Muhammad Ali is a great boxer, he knows the boxing, he knows the art, what makes him different is that he talks and he does it, he tells you he will beat you and he’ll beat you,’‘ Azumah said.
The African boxing legend who was contributing to global outpour of eulogies in memory of Ali recalled his only meeting with Ali, during which time, Ali through his humility proved to him why he was indeed the world’s greatest in the pugilist sport.
Muhammad Ali is a great boxer, he knows the boxing, he knows the art, what makes him different is that he talks and he does it, he tells you he will beat you and he'll beat you.
Azumah Nelson: He was very humble. That's how one is supposed to live. You can’t take anything from Mohammed Ali. He was the best.— Pulse Ghana Sports (@PulseGhanaSport) June 6, 2016
‘‘I remember the first time I met him, he said ‘hey Champion,’ how are you? I said I am fine. He asked how fast I was, I said I was very fast, so he gave me his hand and asked me to jab, I jabbed.
He asked me to jab again, I did and he insisted I am not fast. I said okay. So we started talking and he said listen I have a land in Ghana when you go back to Ghana, go and find the land and tell me whether the land is getting bigger, and we all started laughing,’‘ Azumah fondly recalled in an interview he granted to local sports channel, Pulse Sports.
Azumah, a member of the international boxing Hall of Fame, emphasized that Ali was a man of peace and a man of his words, adding that Ali loved to talk but when it came to action, he also did prove his worth in the ring.
The Ghanaian boxing great held the WBC featherweight title once and the super featherweight title twice between 1979 when he made his professional debut till 1998 when he retired.
‘‘I was happy because he is not feeling well and he cannot do anything for himself so I thank God that he passed away, so he will go and rest in peace,’‘ he added.
Muhammad Ali who had suffered over three decades with Parkinson’s disease died not of the disease but according to family sources, of sceptic shock. His funeral is scheduled to take place in his hometown of Louisville on Friday.