Despicable behavior, Ali could never be the man Frazier is/was. Not in a million years. Nothing makes me sicker than the excuse that he was just selling tickets. Like those fights needed animosity for promotion. He was a jerk and a hypocrite. A much better fighter than he was a human being.
He apologized for it, ad infinitum and ad nauseum. I never heard Joe Frazier aplogize for his reveling in Ali's Parkinson's Disease.
And for balance:
My mind flashes back to a hotel room in New York City before the first Frazier fight. Ali was watching the news. A story came on about ancient inhabitants of a Jewish nursing home who were being evicted because they couldn’t come up with $100,000. It was cold in New York, and the thought of those old people on the street got to Ali. Without any discussion, he reached for the phone and called the TV station. He would donate the $100,000 provided his name not be used. Ali did not want trouble from the Muslims or from certain members of the Ali Circus who were chronically “in need.” Money was given, it arrived in time, old people were saved, the curtain comes down, go to black and a happy ending.
Someone leaked it to the New York newspapers, and Ali was on the front page.
Later, when Ali was asked about this gesture, he said: “These poor crippled people came to this place to eat and talk with each other and draw a little and color, and that kept them alive. And no one else came up with the money. Didn’t matter they were white or Jewish. Somebody’s got to make a stand. Ain’t nobody helping nobody in this country. It’s dog eat dog. The dollar, the dollar, that’s all they worry about.” In this simple yet profound statement, Ali reveals that his desire to aid others, particularly those who have fallen by the wayside, serves as an impetus in his life. Ali has continued his efforts to preserve the dignity and freedom of all peoples, regardless of race or creed to this very day, a fact recognized by the Givat Haviva Educational Foundation, which held a ceremony in 1998 honoring Ali for his humanitarian work.