Muhammad Ali, Titan of Boxing and the 20th Century, Dies at 74

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Muhammad Ali, the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion who helped define his turbulent times as the most charismatic and controversial sports figure of the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 74.

His death was confirmed by Bob Gunnell, a family spokesman.

Ali was the most thrilling if not the best heavyweight ever, carrying into the ring a physically lyrical, unorthodox boxing style that fused speed, agility and power more seamlessly than that of any fighter before him.

But he was more than the sum of his athletic gifts. An agile mind, a buoyant personality, a brash self-confidence and an evolving set of personal convictions fostered a magnetism that the ring alone could not contain. He entertained as much with his mouth as with his fists, narrating his life with a patter of inventive doggerel. (“Me! Wheeeeee!”)

Ali was as polarizing a superstar as the sports world has ever produced — both admired and vilified in the 1960s and ’70s for his religious, political and social stances. His refusal to be drafted during the Vietnam War, his rejection of racial integration at the height of the civil rights movement, his conversion from Christianity to Islam and the changing of his “slave” name, Cassius Clay, to one bestowed by the separatist black sect he joined, the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, were perceived as serious threats by the conservative establishment and noble acts of defiance by the liberal opposition.

Loved or hated, he remained for 50 years one of the most recognizable people on the planet.

50 Cent, Floyd Mayweather Done

ImageThe relationship between 50 Cent and pound-for-pound kingFloyd Mayweather Jr. is over. The breakup, rumored for weeks, was announced by 50 Cent on Twitter on Thursday. It means featherweight titlist Billy Dib, one of the fighters who 50 Cent signed, will make his next defense on the undercard of Miguel Cotto’s fight against junior middleweight titleholder Austin Trout on Dec. 1 (Showtime) at Madison Square Garden in New York. 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, announced during Mayweather’s two-month summer incarceration for domestic abuse that he had formed TMT Promotions, which is short for “The Money Team”and is what Mayweather calls his entourage. 50 Cent and Mayweather were going to promote fights together, and 50 Cent also strongly hinted that the company would promote Mayweather’s fights instead of Golden Boy Promotions, which has been promoting Mayweather’s events since 2007. TMT Promotions was licensed by the New York State Athletic Commission in July, and 50 Cent signed multiple fighters, including undefeated former unified featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa, Australia’s Dib, and super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell. CONTINUE READING…

Summer Reading List

The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring by Sugar Ray Leonard with Michael Arkush—For the first time, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard gives an account of his life outside of the ring in this introspective biography. Leonard candidly shares his struggles with drug addiction, depression and rage as he fought his way to the top of the boxing world. Poignant and honest, it offers another interesting glimpse into the life of a legend.

The Maintenance Man II by Michael Baisden– Whoo boy, those of us who were swept away in the maelstrom that the Maintenance Man created have been patiently waiting for author turned radio host, Michael Baisden to release a follow up. This summer, he’s answered your request. After years of being out of the gigolo lifestyle, Malcom has to rebuild his list of contacts and clientele. But when he and one high-end client, Alex Nelson, the wife of a corrupt U.S. Senator are suspected of knowing too much about a billion-dollar business deal, Malcolm needs his military training and street smarts to get his life back. Shaft meets the Bourne Identity in this breezy beach read.

Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan—A modern classic by one of the most distinctive voices of this generation, Terry McMillan’s make-up, break-up relationship novel Disappearing Act is one of her best, most definitive works to date. Focusing on Zora Banks and Franklin Swift and their love story, which is emotionally abusive at its worse and unconditionally loving at its best, the novel takes a peek into the real life dramas that surround and define relationships that are not always fairytale. You probably won’t be able to put this one down until you’re finished, so make sure you slather on the suntan lotion before heading to the beach for a “quick” read.

READ MORE: http://www.upscalemagazine.com/entertainment/books/item/177-summer-reading-list.html

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Defeats Miguel Cotto With Unanimous Decison

LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. used his speed and accuracy to win a unanimous decision Saturday night over a game Miguel Cotto in one of his toughest fights ever. Mayweather dominated late, rocking Cotto in the 12th round to pull out a win and remain unbeaten in 43 fights. But it wasn’t easy, with Mayweather getting his nose bloodied and Cotto fighting until the final bell. Two judges scored the fight 117-111 and the third had it 118-110. The Associated Press had Mayweather winning 116-112. “You’re a hell of a champion,” Mayweather told Cotto in the ring afterward. “You’re the toughest guy I ever fought.” Fighting just a few weeks before he enters a county jail to serve a three-month sentence for domestic abuse, Mayweather found himself in a tough fight against a game opponent who never stopped moving forward. But he was faster and more accurate than Cotto and seemed to wear him down in the final rounds. In the last round, Mayweather landed his best punch of the night, a left uppercut that seemed to hurt Cotto. He followed that with several flurries to the head to wrap up a decision that until the later rounds had been in doubt. The decision was roundly booed by the crowd at the MGM Grand arena, which cheered wildly every time Cotto landed a punch. “He’s a tough competitor,” Mayweather said. “He came to fight, he didn’t just come to survive. I dug down and fought him back.” Mayweather, who was guaranteed $32 million, was forced to fight every minute of all 12 rounds against the Puerto Rican champion. He did it after weighing in at 151 pounds, the heaviest he has ever been for a fight.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/06/floyd-mayweather-jr-vs-miguel-cotto-fight-decision_n_1487087.html