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Muhammad Ali and Samson, men of fame, riddle, and tragedy, meet!

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Samson and Muhammad Ali Talk, part one

Cassius Clay was soon to be Muhammad Ali. He was big news – a boxer, poet, and cocky trash talker. Age: 22.

At a New York party a guy walked up to him.

Cassius eyed him and asked, “Yo, big dude, what’s your name?”


“I thought you died 3,000 years ago. Your fight stats are in the Bible. What do you want?”

“I did a time jump so we could talk.”

“Not now. Sonny Liston and I gonna have a little fight tonight for the world boxing heavyweight championship.”

“Cassius, I hear you been training hard and Liston has not been. I think you have a problem spouting hype against him. Be careful; it may fog your head. You’ve fought Liston three times. He’s beat you every

time with first round knockouts. He’s ferocious. As I hear it, ‘He’s a man who has never gotten a break and is never going to give one.’”

         “Come to the fight tonight, Samson. See my lightning speed reflexes and my fancy footwork. I’m strong; I’m beautiful; and I’ll beat that old man. After the fight, I gonna build myself a pretty home and use Liston as a bearskin rug.”

Cassius won the match that night, February 25, 1964. A gigantic worldwide television audience watched the fight.

Time passed. Samson and Cassius talked again. Cassius now had a Muslim name, Muhammad Ali.

“Ali, I hear you been having hard times.”

“Yes, and I know you did with the Hebrews and Philistines. My trouble is the U.S. government.”

“Ali, give me your story.”

“I was born in 1942. School and reading were torture, because I was dyslexic. Trash talk and making poems came easy. At age 12 I started boxing training. At age 18 I was a gold medalist in the light heavy-weight division of the 1960 Summer Olympics. I turned professional at age 22. Now my record is 56 wins and 5 losses. Three times I have won the world boxing heavyweight championship.

“I’ve had fame and the pits. In the 1960’s I got interested in the black Muslim group Nation of Islam and joined them.

“What did your mama think?”

“She’s got strong Christian beliefs and has inspired me throughout my boxing career. She taught my brother and I the way she thought was right. She taught us it was wrong to be prejudiced or hate. I’ve changed my religion and some of my beliefs since then, but her God is still God. I just call him by a different name. And my mother, she’s a sweet, fat, wonderful woman!

“My big trouble was when I refused to be drafted into the United States Army. It did not fit my religious beliefs and I saw no point in the Vietnam War. When I applied to be a religious conscientious objector, I was rejected.

“I was found guilty of draft evasion, stripped of my boxing title in 1966, barred from boxing for three years, and sentenced to five years in jail with a fine of $10,000.00. My case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court. My life hit the wall.”

“Ali, let’s take a break and meet later. Check out:”

This is Barbara Steiner speaking with you.

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