As stated in my previous post entitled “Two Down, One To Go” I had three goals I wanted to achieve with the writing of my book on Ali. The first two, completing a publishable manuscript and doing so while Muhammad Ali was still with us, were reached. The third, getting a copy into the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Ali, I continue to work on. Through research, I was able to locate an address to the Ali residence in Arizona. I packaged up and mailed a copy of my book to Ali and his wife last week and received signature confirmation of delivery this past Monday. While I did not recognize the name of the individual who signed for the package, I hope to receive some type of confirmation that Mr. and Mrs. Ali did actually get the book via either my provided email or physical address. I will provide updates if and when they happen. I also want to thank the folks at Baseball Bard, The Poetry Of The Game, for selecting my poem “BEARING WINTER” as their most recent Poem Of The Week honoree. Anyone who is a fan of the game and loves poetry should definitely check out their website. As this will most likely be my last post of 2015, I want to thank the Book Fuel staff for their efforts in helping me make the publishing of my book a reality as well as their continued efforts in assisting me with marketing my book. I also want to thank everyone who bought copies of my book and anyone and everyone intending to do so in the new year. I wish everyone a healthy and happy New Year! I look forward to what the new year brings.
Among the other reasons for Muhammad Ali remaining relevant so long after his heyday are the major corporations that seek to further their brands by having the highly regarded Ali name and image associated with their products. In 2015 alone, Under Armour, Google, and Toyota are just some of the major companies that teamed up with the Ali brand in an effort to stir more interest and boost sales. Ali also maintains relevance through the use of social media with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. These accounts allow for the providing of a look into the Ali’s history, anything currently involving or effecting the champ, as well as the opportunity to provide running commentary on any current events when necessity warrants or the urge arises. And, of course, there are the authors and filmmakers who continue to seek new ways to capture the greatness of the man in order to entertain and inform their audiences.
As I wrote in my author profile for ODES ON ALI, I penned my first poetic account of an Ali fight after watching his upset victory over George Foreman to finally regain the heavyweight title. The positive feedback I received from all who read it was the beginning of the long journey to the publishing of my book. Through stops and starts, numerous changes in direction, and the overcoming of every excuse and obstacle along the way, three goals kept me kept me on the path to completion. The first was to finish a complete, publishable, manuscript. Check. The second was to accomplish the first goal while Muhammad Ali was still with us. Check. (Although I have to tell you there were publicized, and rumored, reports over the last couple of years of health issues and hospitalizations of the champ causing me to believe I probably wouldn’t succeed.) And my final goal is to somehow get a copy of my book to the champ and his wife. While this last one is just extra icing on the cake, I would love for them to know he still inspires us to sing his praises and share his story with the next generation. So, I’ll continue to work on making my last goal happen and provide future updates on any progress.
How is it that Muhammad Ali is still included in conversations concerning modern day fight promotions when his ring career ended nearly four decades ago? Because that’s what happens when you set a standard of excellence so high that no one has exceeded it. Promoters know they can garner greater notoriety for their fighters by making Ali comparisons. A perfect example occurred just last week when UFC president Dana White appeared on the ESPN Mike & Mike show promoting this Saturday night’s championship fight between champion Jose Aldo and interim champion Conor McGregor. White stated that if you look through the history of the fight game the two guys that you’ve ever seen who were absolutely world class at the mental warfare game it’s Muhammad Ali and Conor McGregor. White stated it was impossible not to draw the comparison between the boxing legend and the UFC’s current interim featherweight champion. Since his UFC arrival, Ireland’s McGregor has become well know for mentally battering his opponents, winning the pre-fight war of words, and making good on his predicted outcomes, much like Ali dd, long before engaging in combat. It will be interesting to see what, if any, affect McGregor’s Ali-like gift of gab has on veteran champion Jose Aldo. Brazilian Aldo has his own comparative Ali-like trait in that he heavily relies on his gifted jab to control the action both offensively and defensively. Just like Ali did, Aldo uses a stiff jab to stop the offensive charges of his opponents dead in their tracks as well as setting up his offensive power shots behind a heavy dose of probing jabs. It will be interesting to see which man best uses his Ali-like skill to achieve victory.
Thanksgiving week is for most a time for getting together with family and friends. Overindulging in everything from food and drink to all things football ( be it attending a game in person, watching multiple games on television, or participating in your family’s annual touch football game in the yard) is not only encouraged, it’s expected. So, having finally overcome my food coma, hangover, stiff back, and jet lag, I am attempting to return to my writing routine and the promoting of my book. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and is looking forward to the rest of the holiday season. That being said, my marketing folks would be miffed if I didn’t mention that books make a great holiday gift. And if you have a sports, biography, or poetry lover in general, or an Ali fanatic like me, on your list, well… I am sure you can figure out the rest. More on Ali and my book soon.