LJA PHOTOGRAPHY

Sports Shutter Lady

Boxing Photojournalist

The Greatest 

Muhammad Ali 1942-2016 Touching Generations - The Musings of a Boxing Photojournalist.

This is my little story, today you must excuse where my full stop is or how awful my spelling may be because it is raw and it is flowing. This week we all lost one of the most influential and engrossing men of the 20th century and well into the 21st. A man that stood for what he believed,"I ain't got to be what no body else wants me to be and I ain't afraid to be what I want to be." Muhammad Ali.Photographer unknown. 

I have been brimming with emotion as I know all of you have too. Anyone that takes the time to glance at this jumble of words I write must be feeling just as I do. As ONE we are, as ONE, just as He intended us to be. Clever Muhammad Ali.

So many heartfelt tributes have flooded the media, from people I know, from strangers but we all have this one connection, this link in common despite who or where you are and this link I speak of is the, The Great Ali.

 

I don't need to talk about the genius he was within the ring and how he inspired all the boxers who came after him, we are unbelievably aware of this. I don't need to speak of what he inspired within us humans outside of the ring. 

The funeral, Ali's funeral, he was every bit as inspiring in spirit even though his heart no longer pulses blood through his veins.

He arranged such a mind blowing gathering of cultures, religions and backgrounds to be in unison, all with a message and it was for peace and nurture, for understanding and compassion. All for mankind. Thrown brilliantly into the mix was a hefty amount of laughter because he was an amazing entertainer with a brilliant sense of humour.

 

In the end he was a man who showed us his way and as he grew he became a man that was not to be told nor owned by anyone or anything. He was his own person and in being so he found his own freedom, a freedom he wanted all to realise. An ambassador, a free thinker, a free speaker and with the power of Heavyweight Champion and spirituality is his corner, he utilised it to his fullest.

The moment he passed on June 4th, all I could think was 'I walked the earth at the same time with him.' My daughter called to tell me the news and I said those very words to her and I explained to her again why I was saying them.

 

"Watch him move Laura, listen to him speak, have you ever seen anything like him before!" The words of my mother to me as an eight year old girl.

 

She wasn't particularly interested in boxing but like millions of people she was interested in him when he boxed, in him when he opened his mouth to speak. She recounts when she was a child herself at the cinema watching a movie in Africa where she grew up.

"This man came on to the screen and I sat up, my mouth dropped open. I knew nothing of boxing but I wanted to after I saw him, his speed, his words, he was captivating. I had never seen or heard anyone like Muhammad Ali and I knew he was a very special human being."

 

She was young, just as I was when she told me, just as my daughter was when I told her. My daughter will tell her's and so it goes and so it goes.

 

So today here I am, how I ended up involved in boxing maybe isn't such a mystery after all.

He will be remembered like a Mozart, like a magnificent work of art in the Louvre. Inside and out of the ring forever, touching generations.

 

I will leave you with a quote from the man himself. "Hating people because of their colour is wrong and it doesn't matter which colour does that hating, it's still wrong."

 

Peace x