American boxing historian and match announcer Henry Hascup stated that the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was a name that came before his sport and said, "Muhammad Ali is my favorite fighter of all time."
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Hascup said, "It is impossible not to say that Muhammad Ali is the greatest. No one is greater than the sport itself. However, Ali has become a name that can get ahead of his sport." said.
Henry Hascup, famous for his boxing matches announcements in the USA, said that Muhammad Ali changed his name to Muhammad X in the past, and soon after that, he wanted to be called Muhammad Ali.
"At that time, very few people knew about Muslims and I didn't know Muslims at all," he added.
Reminding that Muhammad Ali refused to participate in the Vietnam War because of his religious thoughts, Hascup said:
"They invited him to the Vietnam War. But he refused to go, so his license was revoked and he was out of the ring for 3.5 years. Some said he was a coward. After a little research, on the contrary, I came to the conclusion that he was a very brave man with this act. He was a champion during World War II. He could have made a morale visit to base units like Joe Louis and returned. But he was so against the war that he didn't even do that. So my respect for him grew."
Hascup recalled that when Muhammad Ali was banned, he even participated in speeches at colleges as a civil rights defender.
"He was someone who barely made it through high school, but his oratory was amazing. And when he came back, he became even more popular," he said.
Claiming that the famous boxer's resume is better than all heavyweight fighters, Hascup said, "George Foreman, Sonny Liston, Mac Foster, Joe Frazier. Ali fought them all and beat them all."
Stating that Muhammad Ali never gave up on the religion he chose in the early years of his career, Henry Hascup said, "I respect him very much. Many people initially took a stand against him when he chose Islam and contacted Malcolm X." said.
Hascup said, "Muhammad Ali became the first big name to convert to Islam and take a Muslim name. The famous Lew Alcindor suddenly appeared as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Even Mike Tyson became a Muslim. Muhammad Ali was a perfect example of how you should treat people. He was a good American."
Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17 in 1942, he later embraced Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964.
Considered one of the best boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali went down in history as the world heavyweight boxing champion three times throughout his career.
Making himself loved not only by the black community of which he is a member but also by all American people and authorities, Ali was appreciated all over the world for his professional sports skills and his struggle for human rights.