Muhammad Ali: In Fighter's Heaven
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Publish Year note: First published in 1998
From early 1973 through the summer of 1974, Victor Bockris visited Muhammad Ali in his private training camp, Fighter's Heaven, when he was preparing for the "Rumble in the Jungle." Bockris was able to get an unprecedented view of Ali's persona outside the boxing ring. Presented here are generous helpings of Ali's unique poetry, and insightful glimpses into his feelings on race relations, Muslim principles, and family values.
Ali said himself of this book, "These are some of the things I don't reveal to the public too much."
across Moyer: ‘I went looking for bells.’ ‘He went lookin’,’ Moyer says, with a resigned nod. When we reach the rock, Ali directs the pose: ‘I’ll stand with my hand out, and Mr. Moyer will present this rock to me. He gave it to me. He’ll hold his hand out …’ As soon as the appropriate photographs are taken, Ali asks Mr. Moyer to give me his card and makes me promise to send Moyer a copy of the photograph of them by the rock. ‘Are you gonna have a rock with your name on it?’ I ask. ‘The whole
large bus parked beside the gymnasium, and he takes me inside. It’s a custom-built touring bus, compact, with a small sitting room in back, television, kitchenette, and two bedrooms on either side of a tiled bath. As I look around, Ali climbs into the driver’s seat, plugs a cassette of Andy Williams into a tape deck over the windshield and, grabbing the hand microphone attached to an intercom, calls out: ‘On your left is Hoboken, the little lady with the shopping bag … Want to go for a ride?’
hotels, better restaurants … You don’t see a six-lane highway in the middle of nowhere anywhere else in the world.’ He grins to himself. ‘And there’s more ice here! You can get it whenever you want it! If you want a coke, you got a cold coke! As coooooooold as you want! You can get ice any time!’ ‘Why do you think I cry?’ ‘Because you care about him so much,’ I answered. Bundini’s face relaxed into a broad energetic smile and he shook hands with me, saying, ‘You’re right. You understand. You got
about prostitution on the steps of The White House, gravity, meteorites, jumping out of windows, Israel, Egypt, Zaire, South Africa, drugs, broken skulls, delusions, angel food cake, yellow hair, Judgement Day, shattered morality, Jesus, boxing, Sweden, the Koran, friendship and … Elvis, relating it all to the central point that man must obey the laws of God or perish. ‘I got forty-five more lectures like that,’ he concluded. ‘I am getting ready to go out and be a black Billy Graham.’ Throughout
was to answer personally, both when I called and when I was with him at the camp. At other times, for no apparent reason, he would refuse to come to the phone. This, coupled with the fact that there were never any bodyguards evident at the camp, surprised me. Ali has known some people, ranging from Malcolm X to Major Coxson of the Philadelphia ‘Black Mafia’, who have been assassinated. Many people dislike him, others hate him, and even more are eager to use him. He receives a constant stream of