Boxer Muhammad Ali Turns 65 Commentator Davis Miller, author of The Tao of Muhammad Ali, recalls his first face-to-face meeting with The Greatest: in the ring as a volunteer sparring partner. Ali turns 65 today.
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Boxer Muhammad Ali Turns 65

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Boxer Muhammad Ali Turns 65

Boxer Muhammad Ali Turns 65

Boxer Muhammad Ali Turns 65

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Commentator Davis Miller, author of The Tao of Muhammad Ali, recalls his first face-to-face meeting with The Greatest: in the ring as a volunteer sparring partner. Ali turns 65 today.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

Commentator Davis Miller wrote "The Tao of Muhammad Ali" in 1996. He's been a life-long fan of Ali's that at the age of 22, managed to arrange a dramatic encounter.

DAVIS MILLER: I'll see if I can get you in the ring with him, Bobby said, teasing me. I was 22 years old, muscular and agile; and because of Ali's influence, I was a junior lightweight kickboxer.

NORRIS: As we left the ring together, my childhood hero spoke softly, gently, almost purring. You're fast. And you sure can hit - to be so little. He may as well have said he was adopting me. I began to quake. My insides danced, but I stayed composed long enough to say the one thing I hoped would impress him most. With confidence I had learned from watching him on television and hearing him on the radio countless times, I said simply, I know.

NORRIS: This is NPR. National Public Radio.

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