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|WHEN THE GREATEST MET THE KING
June 04, 2016 - Various / Elvis Express Radio
As the world wakes to the news that Muhammad Ali has died, E.E.R takes a look at one of the time the Greatest met the King
|By now, the world knows that one of the last true LEGENDS has died. Muhammad Ali (Born Cassius Clay) finally lost his on going fight with Parkinsons disease at the age of 74.
Elvis was a great admirer of Ali and equally so was Ali of Elvis. In fact, Elvis had his costume designer design a Boxing Robe version of one of his own stage suits and presented it to
him when the two of them met each other in the Kings hotel suite at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1973.
February 14 1973, one month after his historic worldwide live satellite concert performance (Aloha From Hawaii), Elvis was in Las Vegas and so too was Muhammad Ali who was
training at the Hilton for his title defence against Joe Bugner. Elvis wanted to meet with Ali and by all accounts, Ali jumped at the chance to meet Elvis and so a meeting was set up
which would take place just hours prior to Ali's title defence fight against challenger, Joe Bugner.
Elvis wanted to get Ali a gift, something unique and special, something only Elvis could get, he did just that by having an Elvis style robe especially made for him emblazoned with
rhinestones and with 'The People's Choice' on the back (Elvis' original instructions were to have the People's Champion on the back but due to a communication cock up,
"Peoples Choice" was the end result). And so, Ali thanked Elvis for the robe and went directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center to beat Joe Bugner....which he did.
The robe cost Elvis around $3000.00 to have made and is now one of the most valuable boxing robes and it's became Ali's pride and joy and he loved it', "Elvis was my close
personal friend. He came to my Deer Lake training camp about two years before he died. He told us he didn't want nobody to bother us. He wanted peace and quiet and I gave him
a cabin in my camp and nobody even knew it. When the cameras started watching me train, he was up on the hill sleeping in the cabin. Elvis had a robe made for me. I don't admire
nobody, but Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know." - Muhammad Ali
While Ali was over-joyed with Elvis' wonderful gift , not everyone was pleased about the robe. Ali's opponent & challenger for the fight was Joe Bugner who would also receive an
invite to Elvis' suite. Now as fans know, Elvis didn't take too kindly to anyone who he felt wanted to take advantage of his legendary kindness....Bugner takes up the story: "The robe
Elvis gave Ali had the words ``Peoples Choice'' spelt out in gemstones on the back. It was February 1973 and Elvis was performing at the Las Vegas Hilton. Before the fight Elvis
invited about 50 or so people to his hotel suite for a party. I thought I'd be complimentary to him. I said ``Excuse me, Elvis that's a beautiful robe you gave Ali. I'd love one like that
because, as you know I'm also a champion. But Elvis turns around and says ``you're no champion'' just like that. I told Elvis to get stuffed and I walked out".
We've read how Ali himself remembered the Vegas meeting and the time Elvis went up to Deer Lake....but other's who were there remember things differently, even to the point of
making things up about Elvis performing for a with a handful of locals?
Ferdie Pacheco (Ali's fight doctor): "I was there the time Elvis presented Ali with the robe. It was in Vegas in 1974 (73) and it was really something to see. They really didn't know
what to do with each other. Obviously Elvis was enthralled to be in Ali's presence, but so was Ali, he loved Elvis. He wasn't really into the music, but he said, 'Boy, that guy can
dance. What an entertainer.' Elvis came in to Ali's hotel room with the robe, 'The People's Champ' written on the back in jewels. Ali sees Elvis coming in and says, 'Hey, that's Elvis,
man. He looks pretty good!' And both of them looked at each other like good-looking women would look at each other to appraise how they look.
At that time, Ali was at the height of his good looks, and Elvis was also. So this was probably the best-looking black guy and the best-looking white guy on the planet in that room,
and they were looking at each other like roosters. 'You look good, Ali.' 'Yeah, you're looking good, Elvis'. So here they are and they really wanted to be friends with each other, but
they didn't know what to do. They didn't know how to connect.
You know, Elvis is surrounded by these white guys, these rednecks from Memphis, and Ali is hanging out with these black guys from the Nation of Islam. They were living in two
different worlds. They respected each other and the love was there, but they couldn't quite get as close as they would have liked. But the robe Elvis presented to Ali that night was
the only one he ever kept. I think they met once or twice after that night.
One time Elvis went up to see Ali at his training camp at Deer Lake, Pennsylvania. I wasn't there but I heard that Ali thought it would be fun to take Elvis down in to the little town
near Deer Lake unannounced. As the story goes, they go to this bar. Ali didn't drink, but I think he just wanted to get a kick out of taking Elvis into this bar. Anyway there is a little
stage in this place and maybe half a dozen people in there having a drink.
They probably recognised Ali because he liked to go down to the town and have fun with people, but they didn't recognise Elvis. There was a guy singing on stage and Ali managed
to persuade Elvis to go up there and sing a song. Well, of course as soon as Elvis started singing everybody in the place knew who it was. Ali was cracking up, you know - Elvis was
singing for this bunch of barflies in this small town. I think they escaped through the back door before anybody in the bar could raise the alarm and have the whole town in there."de
Elvis to go up there and sing a song. Well, of course as soon as Elvis started singing everybody in the place knew who it was. Ali was cracking up, you know - Elvis was singing for
this bunch of barflies in this small town. I think they escaped through the back door before anybody in the bar could raise the alarm and have the whole town in there."
MUHAMMAD ALI’s talent wasn’t confined to the ring. He also possessed one of the deepest minds and sharpest tongues in sporting history.
Here’s a collection of the legend’s most memorable, funny, witty, profound and inspiring one-liners, following his death at the age of 74 on Saturday.
“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”
“I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.”
“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”
“I’m the most recognised and loved man that ever lived”
“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologise.”
“I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning and throw thunder in jail. You know I’m bad. Just last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone,
hospitalised a brick. I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.”
“I’m the best. I just haven’t played yet” — Ali on golf.
“Float like a butterfly, Sting like a bee, your hands can’t hit, what the eyes can’t see”
“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision.”
“If you dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologise.”
“Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.”
“When you can whip any man in the world, you never know peace.”
“If you sign to fight me, you need speed and endurance but what you need most is to increase your insurance”
ON HIS RIVALS
“(Joe) Frazier is so ugly he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wildlife.”
“Frazier is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head.”
“I always bring out the best in men I fight, but Joe Frazier, I’ll tell the world right now, brings out the best in me. I’m gonna tell ya, that’s one helluva man, and God bless him.”
“I’ve seen George Foreman shadow boxing. And the shadow won.”
“Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t!”
“That all you got George?” - Ali to Foreman during the Rumble in the Jungle.
“He’s (Sonny Liston) too ugly to be the world champ. The world champ should be pretty like me!”
“Sonny Liston is nothing. The man can’t talk. The man can’t fight. The man needs talking lessons. The man needs boxing lessons. And since he’s gonna fight me, he needs falling
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not
a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
“The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
“Life is a gamble. You can get hurt, but people die in plane crashes, lose their arms and legs in car accidents; people die every day. Same with fighters: some die, some get hurt,
some go on. You just don’t let yourself believe it will happen to you.”
“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.”
“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
“At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”
“Hating people because of their colour is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which colour does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”
“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
MUHAMMAD ALI 1942 - 2016