The Greatest

The Greatest

A Poem by Tate Morgan

Here this man had stood by himself took the pain dealt to him alone For all the things that he believed he was willing to lose his throne


Ali known at the time as "Cassius Clay" defeats Sonny Liston for the Heavyweight title of the world.

It's hard to express this in words

for the younger generation

But when I was just a small lad

heavyweight fights led the nation

It wasn't that we didn't care

for the struggle of civil rights

It was just that back in those days

men worshiped the heavyweight fights


While Martin Luther had a place

in the hearts and minds of us all

It was the audacious Ali

who held the boxing world in thrall

He was Cassius Marcellus Clay

born in nineteen forty two

A victor at the Olympics

from where his legend only grew


He had made short work of Liston

who had mauled way more than a few

In a fight where barely a soul

had known what this great champ could do

 He then changed his name to Ali

going on to crush all comers

Taunting each of the challengers

for what seemed like endless summers


But then he'd dared refuse the draft

while men cried in lamentation

"How could the great Heavyweight Champ

bring such disgrace to our nation"

The commissioners took his title

along with his Olympic gold

They knocked him down, and took his crown

crying "How dare he be so bold"


Here this man had stood by himself

 took the pain dealt to him alone

For all the things that he believed

he was willing to lose his throne

Though as we all found out later

he was right to protest that war

Ali stood by his convictions

and soon he would do even more


At the end of his long career

 after Larry Holmes won their fight

I asked a close black friend of mine

"just who did you bet on tonight"

"I put my money on the champ

he fights with such malignity

I guess I knew, that he was through

but he gave me my dignity"




To see my books click on the pictures to take you to them





© 2019 Tate Morgan

Author's Note

Tate Morgan
Very few people ever become so famous that we know them by their first name. But Ali was the Greatest fighter ever. He stirred the core of every man alive at the time. Forced us to look at ourselves and through that glass we came to admire him. Later he became a great humanitarian. Saving the lives of the hostages in the first Iraq war. He received a new gold medal from the Olympic committee at the Atlanta games,to replace the one taken from him. Misunderstood? Sure he was. Loved and admired around the world? Your Damn Right he is! In later years Ali has contracted Parkinson's disease. However a man once interviewed him many years after his retirement. Ali took him out to the barn to see his dusty trophies laying about. "You know" he said. "Here are the things I strove so hard for many years of my life.They didn't mean a thing when you compare them to what really matters." Well he mattered. At least to the rest of us. He is today as he has been for many years one of the most Iconic and beloved figures of the modern era. There is only One Ali!
So here is to the greatest fighter and one of the greatest men who ever lived.

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register


Ali was sure the greatest in his fights in the ring. A power house who needed no introduction but of his own. You spoke of him well. - “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Posted 4 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

4 Years Ago

Thank you yes I was privledged to have seen him back then
i couldn't agree more .. you are a perfect poet to put this tribute to him in poetry .. i agree with you 100% ..there has not been and most likely never another to gain his heights .. both as champion and human being .. i am not much of a sports person but i love to watch a good fight .. i remember his first Spink's fight so well ..i was newly wed and expecting the birth of of our first little one .. i almost cried when Ali lost that fight .. i just could not believe it .. but he beat him in the second fight and his flame grew even brighter than ever .. a great man and golden era for the heavy weights no doubt .. well done my friend .. solid story line, form, rhyme and read ;)

Posted 4 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

4 Years Ago

Thank you Gene I lived Ali I loved that most hated him because as his fame grew their hatred turned .. read more
Einstein Noodle

4 Years Ago

the world was still our father's world eh?! and things were changing fast ... my dad use to be so di.. read more
An excellent review of a mighty figure in our history. I remember well the story, having followed his career from the time he beat Liston. Let me tell you, it was quite a scandal when he became a Muslim.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

6 Years Ago

Yeah dont i know it i remember him beating that guy bloody trying to get him to say his new name tha.. read more
Tate Morgan

4 Years Ago

Yes it was and my fathers son
Some people look upon athletes as performers only in the physical arena of life. They do not realize the training - physical, mental and spiritual - that goes behind every move nor the sacrifices the athlete and his/her family have been put through in order for the athlete to get there. There is courage and wisdom behind the choices and sacrifices an athlete makes. Beyond the jock, is a human being striving to do the best he could and giving the best he can.

Posted 7 Years Ago

A great poem fitting the legend Ali... Frankly I was never a boxing enthusiast till I saw the Rocky movies and I remember how it all felt, the adrenaline and all. So I started digging and though every one knew about Ali. I read about him and my respect grew for him. RESPECT.

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee... :)

Posted 7 Years Ago

This is amazing poem i not big on boxing but I love the poem

Posted 7 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

7 Years Ago

Thank you Ali was the greatest
From one fighter to a great fighter, I loved his dance. But there are times I try but can't admire the gloves. I liked this, but it sort of reinforced a loyalty to my birth place.

Posted 7 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

7 Years Ago

I can understand that When i was a kid i saw a poster for the Cassius clay fight on a bulletin board.. read more
ah yes. You captured the time perfectly. He was and is the Greatest of his generation in the Sweet Science !

Posted 7 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

7 Years Ago

Yeah he was a great show The fights are nothing now like they were back then they were the event of .. read more
Paul Seaman

7 Years Ago

Gorgeous George :-)

First Page first
Previous Page prev
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


62 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on August 28, 2013
Last Updated on February 18, 2019
Tags: poetry


Tate Morgan
Tate Morgan

Marion , OH

Available from Amazon XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I am a product of the Midwest. Raised on the plain states of North America. I was nurtured on a .. more..

Memories Memories

A Poem by Tate Morgan

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..

Granny Granny

A Poem by Tate Morgan

Meh Meh

A Poem by Mark