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March 26, 2024 46 mins

Davis loses the biggest male influence of his life. Meanwhile, our citizen of the world defies the American government for the second time. Also, we hop across the big, wide Atlantic to trace Ali's little known roots to a land with a rich history of both fighting and storytelling.


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:09):
September sixth, nineteen eighty nine, my dad dies very unexpectedly.
He was only fifty nine years old, and I thought
I'd have decades with him. He was a blue collar
worker and a wonderful tender man and father who struggled
pretty hard throughout his life. After my mom died, he

(00:33):
worked two jobs sixty hour weeks. This is before the
days of daycare, before fast food, and he learned to cook.
He took care of my sister Carol in May and
did a heroic job. And that's not an exaggeration. I

(00:56):
was never able to come out of my shell.

Speaker 2 (01:00):
With my dad.

Speaker 1 (01:03):
And engage with him the way he did with me.
I was just too damaged by my mom's death. But
I was there for him when he died. I hung
in their tight and I didn't look away. It crushed me,
and my first time of coming out into the world

(01:29):
again was a couple months later when Sport magazine wanted
me to be their representative at the third Leonard Durand
Fight in Las Vegas. Muhammad was going to be there.
Both Muhammad and Lani had told me so, and the

(01:50):
largest reason I wanted to be at that fight is
to hang with Mohammed, which I hadn't done in months
and months. I'd get to Vegas two days for the fight.
I unpacked my suitcase in the hotel room and then
open the curtains and cool. There's this hawk sitting out there.
That's a promising sign. The next morning, when I get

(02:11):
out of bed, I look out the window and the
hawk is still there, unmoving, dead. You know, here in
Vegas we'll even find a radio station that's remotely listenable.
Wayne Newton, Gosh, Barry Manilow, all that Vegacy stuff. But

(02:32):
then I stumbled across one's playing a Van Morris in
tune I haven't heard before. I forgot that love existed,
and I did. When the song ends, I have to
admit I feel a little better. I walk over to

(02:56):
the Mirage Hotel, which is hosting the fight, and the
very first person I've read into is Lani Ali. I
spots her standing outside an elevator and I go up
to her and she says, Davy, which is what she
called me. Mohammed will want to see you. Why don't
you come up to the suite. Mohammed's in the room,

(03:18):
standing there staring out the window, turns around and sees me,
my man, which he always called me, and gives me
a big hug. We're standing there looking out the window
and he says, this big hotel, this town, don't none
of it mean nothing. It's all only dust. He turns

(03:40):
to me and he says, how you do it? And
I say, I'm okay, but my dad died. He looks
at me, is empathetically, as if it was his own father.
I'm talking about, as if I'm very close family, which

(04:01):
is something I wanted somehow and something that I needed,
the recognition from Muhammad that my father had indeed passed,
and that that meant owe so much to me. Lannie says,
my father just died too, and she tears up. Lonnie

(04:21):
excuses herself from the room, and Mohammad opens his briefcase
which he always kept with him, and he shows me
this famous painting of Jesus. He says, I always take
this with me. This is with me everywhere I go
because it reminds me how did some colored boxer from Louisville,
Kentucky become famous as this man? And I'm feeling kind

(04:47):
of bad for Mohamed when he says that. Mohammed and
I go down to the main lobby of the mirage.
The elevator reaches the ground floor. The doors open, but
then suddenly Ali makes this huge clucking sound. Then I
hear somebody repeat it from the distance. It's almost like

(05:08):
an echo. Ali and I step out of the elevator
and there's Howard Ali. He repeats the sound again and
kind of chuckles, and Howard does it straight back at him,
and he says, watch how people react. Howard pulls out
a chair and finds the table. Mohammad sits down. Within seconds,

(05:30):
there's one hundred people around him. Within minutes, there's five hundred,
within ten minutes a thousand. Mohammad sits at the table
and starts signing autographs on Muslim tracks he has with him.

Speaker 3 (05:42):
Chama God, where are you from?

Speaker 4 (05:45):
Hey?

Speaker 3 (05:47):
Jom'sone over here, gree where are you from?

Speaker 4 (05:55):
Where you from?

Speaker 1 (05:56):
Pakistan?

Speaker 2 (05:57):
Just lies your.

Speaker 1 (06:01):
People come up to him and tell stories about how
they'd met him thirty years before, and Ali always pretends
to remember. I say to Howard, is it like this everywhere?
He says, everywhere, everywhere in the world, all the time.
Two hundred thousand people came to see him last year

(06:21):
in Jakarta.

Speaker 4 (06:25):
I was waiting on Muhammed to come because he obviously
told me that he's coming to ways aware of it,
and we let it out to the public and the
street where we lived is just that the whole town
come to a standstill. There must have been thousands. It
wasn't a couple of hundred. It was thousands that the
police had to call in the army to help with
crowd control.

Speaker 1 (06:44):
That's Tyrone Monahan, author of Paddy Monahan The Rough Diamond.
His lifelong friendship with Muhammad through his dad is at
least as deep and profound as my own.

Speaker 4 (06:57):
There was no trouble or nothing, but they had to
call him in in the house and the chanting outside Ali, Ali, Ali,
It's happened quite a few times.

Speaker 1 (07:11):
Whether you work in a rice patty in Indonesia or
sleep in a hut in Zimbabwe, Muhammad Ali is known
and revered everywhere. Reflecting on that now all these decades
since Ali and I became friends a marvel again. How
his Parkinson's allowed him to become an ailing family member

(07:35):
to the world. In the nineteen nineties, Ali became an
ambassador of worldwide good will and he traveled more than
two hundred and fifty days of each year. Huge crowds
turned out to greet him wherever he went, tens of thousands,
sometimes even hundreds of thousands of people. One day he

(07:56):
was in China, the next to New York, the third
in London, and then on to La Man That blew
me away. I was young, fit and healthy, and could
not come close to keeping up with him personally as
I grappled with marriage problems and trying to get my
writing out into the world. He taught me the relativity

(08:21):
of struggle through yet another life saving effort, Episode six,
The People's champ. I never thought of myself as doing
a profile of Muhammad for GQ or Sports Illustrated or

(08:43):
The New York Times. I'm just hanging with my friend.
But then the experience is so powerful in my own life,
and I'm seeing things about him that at the time
no one else is writing about. Missus Clay called me
and said, it's beautiful. It's beautiful. She says, it's awful long,

(09:05):
but it is the best thing ever about the family,
and that meant something to me. A guy named Lee Eisenberg,
who was the editor in chief at Esquire, didn't want
to run the story, and David Hershey, my editor, came
to him and said, this is one of the most
beautiful pieces I've ever read. And Eisenberg said, well, that's
not the way I see it. He said, I thought

(09:28):
that this guy was a lot closer, that he'd known
Ali for years and years, and he said, that's the
piece I want. So eventually Esquire killed it, but nobody
got back with me and told me that they're not
going to run the story. I'm sitting and waiting ninety days,
one hundred and twenty days, whatever it was.

Speaker 4 (09:47):
David Hershey.

Speaker 1 (09:49):
Then I finally get hold of David Hershey and he
says Lee has decided not to use it. He said,
I think he's wrong, but he decided not to use it.
I'll be sure you get your kill fee. I didn't
even know what a kill fee was, and I'm expecting
twenty five hundred bucks and launched in the best magazine,

(10:11):
to my mind in the country. Instead, I'm getting four
hundred and seventy five dollars. Months later, I end up
selling it to the Louisville Courier Journal for four hundred
bucks and I still hadn't been paid that four seventy five.
By the time it ran and money got tight. I
mean it got real tight, Lee Eisenberg. He wanted me

(10:33):
to be the standard reporter. I've never come from that place. Mohammed,
he's my inspiration, he's my hero, he's my muse. But
basically he's just my friend. That's another problem classically schooled
journalist has had with me. Ain't one of them, and

(10:55):
I'm not coming from their place. They think I was
violating Mohammed in some way. It's something that I had
to consider in all ways. In every moment, I used
him as the barometer for that. I used his reactions
more than Lonnie's. I would use Mohammad's reactions for what
he felt. When My Dinner with Ali was published, Mohammed

(11:18):
called me beautiful, beautiful, he said, and I know everything's okay,
that I'm doing the right thing anyway. That's all I
have to say about that. August nineteen ninety, I'm back
in Louisville selling our house. Finally. Limb's given up for

(11:39):
paint and paint brushes, for a steady job and a cubicle.
But I've got to hang with the dream of becoming
an artist because she's taken that job. Now we'll get
a little relief from our bills. As I'm getting ready
to leave town, I decided to go by missus Clay's
and say hello to her. I knock on the door

(12:01):
and who opens it but Mohammed Ali. My man. He says,
come on in. He looks great. He's lost about forty
pounds and I compliment him. He says, I'm training for
a spiritual battle. We have lunch, and while we're eating,
the phone rings. He picks it up and he's on

(12:23):
for a long time for Muhammed. About fifteen minutes. I
hear the deep voice on the other end, and when
he hangs up, he says, they got something I want
to ask you. People want me to go to Iraq,
stand between two big armies, get ready to fight. Say
I'm Muhammad Ali. Don't fight? Do you think I should

(12:44):
do it? I hesitate. I don't know what to say
to that. Months later, I switch on the TV and
guess what. There's Mohammed. He's in a rock. He's negotiating
with Saddam Hussein to get hostages released, but the New

(13:05):
York Times is slamming him, saying he's doing it to
get media attention. And that he risked being in a
rocky propaganda puppet. The White House slams him too. Of course,
the White House doesn't want him doing that. They want
the oil. That's what all of this is about. They
want a war. Once again, Muhammad finds himself at loggerheads

(13:30):
with the United States government, and again he carries on
despite the blowback, doing what he believes is the right
thing to do. Muhammad Ali, the Conscientious Objector, brings home
fifteen American hostages to their families.

Speaker 2 (14:09):
In nineteen sixty seven. When Ali was stripped of the
heavyweight championship for refusing to be inducted into the military,
it was a polarizing event all over the world. You
were either for Ali or against Ali. Well, one young
man born in Northern Ireland stood firmly behind Mohammed and
started a campaign to get his boxing license reinstated. Of

(14:32):
Baron knuckle fighter Paddy Monaghan circulated the petition that gained
over twenty two thousand signatures and later wrote President Richard
Nixon to plead Ali's case. It was Paddy who first
called Ali the People's Champion. What resulted was a friendship
between Patty and Mohammad that lasted until Ali's death in

(14:53):
twenty sixteen. Patty's son Tyrone, joins us now from England.
Bar knuckle fighting. Not only was your dad good at it,
he was a world champion. He was Yeah, talk about
that underground aspect of it, that your dad had this
note of writing and very few people knew about it. Yeah.

Speaker 4 (15:10):
Well, back in the day it was illegal. It's not
like today where it's mainstream. And it's nice to see
it a mainstream and these young fellas now getting out
there and making a name for himself. But back in
the day, if he was caught doing bernacles fighting, you'd
be panned up, you'd be put in prison. And the
thing is where my dad's manager, Tommy Hurd, he had
a venue called the Barn, and when you're good enough,

(15:34):
he'd allow you to fight in the Barn. Now, the
Barn was a notorious place and let's just say people
didn't make their money from being missed a nice guy,
you know, so because there's a lot of gambling and
betting going on in there, and they had lookouts on
the country lanes for police coming and everything had to

(15:54):
be kept quiet. When the time my dad won the
world title, I was only a child and my sister Claire,
we was wanting to tell the whole world, Wow, my
dad's world champion, you know, because you see him coming
home with the broken knuckles and the cut cut eyes
and the broken noses and all that stuff. And when
he achieved his goal with becoming the world champion, we
just want to tell everybody, but we couldn't had he

(16:17):
had his world title belt and it was kept wrapped
up in a white towel underneath the bed.

Speaker 2 (16:21):
Yeah, your dad grew up in a tough neighborhood, tough
kid even before they met. Muhammed Ali played a role
in your dad's childhood.

Speaker 4 (16:31):
My dad dad dyslexia. He left Ireland and came over
to England when he was five or six years of
age and he was known as a problem child. He
was sent to help the school caretaker. He's missing classes
and things like that. He'd be out there digging cold
the heat up the school keep everybody warm. He couldn't read,

(16:52):
found it hard to write, so when he left school
about fifteen sixteen years of age. My grandma, even when
he was a child, he used to get in the
boxing news, to weekly paper used to come out over
here in England. My Grandma would be reading page to
page and the photographs and telling them who the photographs are.
This was a turning point for my dad seeing Cassius
Clay back in the day on the pictures and my

(17:12):
nan reading about Cassius Clay. My dad knew this man
was amazing and he wanted to learn how to read
and write so he can read about Muhammad himself. So
my grandma started him off with the book with big
writing on and she was teaching them how to read.

(17:35):
I think about seventeen eighteen. He always thought that books
started off with the once upon a time and ended
with happy ever after. You know, Muhammad Ali gave my
dad the inspiration to learn how to read and write,
and my dad writing a book himself. He couldn't thank
the likes of Muhammad Ali wanting him to learn how

(17:57):
to read and write. Later on, when they stripped Mohammad
off title, my dad thought they've taken my college away.
My dad looked upon him as Muhammad as his college
of knowledge. So when they stuck my father's college out
of the way, he stripp Mhammad off his title, he
thought he had to do something about it.

Speaker 2 (18:12):
So your dad starts the petition he's supporting Ali being
reinstated to boxing, and they finally meet. How did that
come about.

Speaker 4 (18:24):
My dad's friend came around and said that Herbert Muhammad
is coming into London, so my dad thought, oh, I
must go and meet this fella. So at that time
where my dad was doing the petition, he had twenty
and twenty four signatures at the end of three and
a half years of doing that, but he had a
load of fan mail. At the same time, my dad
started the very first Muhammad Ali fan club. So he

(18:44):
took these couple of the sacks of the fan mail
up to Herbert Mhammad and Herbert couldn't believe what was
going on is he took my dad's address, names and
phone number, and a couple of weeks later, my dad
gets a call from Muhammad Ali himself and Muhammad says, Paddy,
I'm coming over to the Royal Lancaster Hotel. I want
to meet you. So then when they met the Royal

(19:06):
Lancaster Hotel, my dad thought it was going to be
like a shaking the hand, a tap on the back,
or thank you, Patty for everything you've done for me.
That's great, and my dad would have been happy with that.
Who wouldn't be? But no, it went a lot more
than that. Muhammad booked my dad a room next to
his room in the hotel where he was touring London
at that time. My dad was with him side by
side for about near enough a week, four or five days,

(19:28):
when then they went up north and a little bit
of a trip round the North and they've struck up
a great friendship and Mohammed all the way through this,
like fifty years of friendship. Mohammed never forgot what my
dad done for him.

Speaker 2 (19:40):
There's always been a special bond with the people in
Ireland with aur We what's that all about?

Speaker 4 (19:48):
I think majority of people knew Muhammad was different in
each in every way. He was the under dog. What
the authority has done for him. Most of Americans back
in the day, they turned their back on Muhammed like that.
The war in Ireland between the Catholics and Protestant In Britain,
I'm a Catholic. We was like the underdog all the time.
So we know what it's like to be the underdog
and it's not nice. Muhammad was just something special, something different.

(20:12):
He's like the plug going to the socket. And the
light's going on.

Speaker 2 (20:16):
Muhammad invited your dad to work his corner for a
couple of fights Kentucky, most notably the rematch with Joe

(20:37):
Frasier in nineteen seventy four. Just he just took him
and held him close.

Speaker 4 (20:43):
He never asked for nothing, and he's always there to give.
Mohammad like that. He was also in the corner for
the Al Blue Lewis fight. Now, did you know the
Al Blue Lewis fight nearly didn't happen? Did you know that?

Speaker 2 (20:53):
I know it was in Ireland, but I didn't know
it almost didn't happen.

Speaker 4 (20:57):
Yeah, it nearly didn't happen. Irish officials asked who's going
to be in the corner, and my hams, I want
Paddy in my corner. And because my dad didn't have
a license, they wasn't going to allow my dad to
be in the corner. And Mohammad turned around and he said,
no Paddy, no fight, and the officials got it. Paddy
had to be in the corner. So my dad had

(21:17):
a one day license to be in Mohammed's corner and
I still got that license today.

Speaker 2 (21:22):
Yeah, how do you describe their relationship?

Speaker 4 (21:25):
That's a good question. When you see them in the
room together, it was electric. The energy in the room.
It was like there was bouncing off of each other,
having the banner, having the crack. It was electric. And
the only way I can say their relationship was beautiful,
absolutely beautiful. My dad he was a straight fella. If
he liked you, you know about it. If you didn't

(21:47):
like you, you'd know about it, as simple as that.
Everybody in the town here, you know a lot of people,
they loved him, you know, they loved him where he
brought Mohammad to the town, and Muhammad made this town famous.
And to this day people still talk about his visits.
It's like when my dad be away with Mahmmad and
coming back ten stories and saying, like, you know, they

(22:07):
call each other brother. But when you're actually in the room,
like I said, and you hear my dad, Muhammad and
Dad hugging each other, I love you, my brother, I
mean that was like wow, you know.

Speaker 2 (22:17):
Wow, talk about those visits.

Speaker 4 (22:22):
He was waiting on Muhammad to come because he obviously
told me Dad he's coming, so way is aware of it,
and we led it out to the public and the
street where we lived is just that the whole town
come to a standstill. Lives so many people there that
the police had a called him the army to help
with crowd control. There was no trouble or nothing, but
they had to call him in. So the whole street

(22:43):
was absolutely there must have been thousands. It wasn't a
couple of hundred, it was thousands, and like I said,
it blocked the whole town off. It's happened quite a
few times. Mohammad was in the house and the chanting
outside of the fans outside Ali Ali Ahi through the window.

(23:04):
We didn't have double glazing windows at the time. There
was just normal wooden windows and we had normal wooden
door and we had six panes of glass in the door,
no double glazing, so you could hear everything. And the
chance was going A mom says, I just got to
go and see my fans. My dad says Tom. He says,
get the door and I'll put my hand on the door.
And I'm not lying yet. As I put my hand

(23:25):
on the door to open it, at the door was
vibrating with Ali. Every time there was an alley, the
door was vibrating, The windows were vibrating. You could see
them vibrate. The door. I had my hand on the
door and it was it was still out there, vibrating
like you know, and my dad says, get ready for
a boy, because what do you mean, Dad, He says,
you'll see. I opened the door and he was a

(23:50):
big bound of thunder just coming in through the door,
like just come in all the same time talk about
going goose pimply. It was absolutely amazing. But my dad
stepped out of the door, Mohammed stepped out of the door,
and I stayed behind. And the chance Ali Ai talk
about beatle mania, this was Ali Mania and it was
absolutely phenomenal. And as soon as Mohammad held up his hand,

(24:14):
the crowd went quiet and he started talking to them.
You can imagine thousands of people chanting Ali, Ali, Ali,
and then the next thing, the hand goes up and
you could hear a pin drop. It's absolutely unbelievable. August
nineteen eighty three. I just won the Home Counties Championship.
Was a well to wait and my father used to

(24:36):
have me sparring with heavyweights. So I'll go in, get
in and out very very quick, hopefully without getting hit,
knowing that if I get hit, it's gonna hurt So
Muhammad was there and the car pulled up outside the
house and straight away he looked at me and he
goes me and him just started a shadow sparring in
the front gardens. Oh it is amazing, absolutely fantastic. After

(25:00):
that there we went into the house and the crack
in the band or is that ing? My dad and
him their private talk as well, and then he says
to me, he says, trone John Doe some sparring.

Speaker 2 (25:09):
Oh wow, I.

Speaker 4 (25:10):
Suggest fleaz Mohammed. So Howard went to the car and
brought back a pair of white boxing gloves. But the
only pair of white gloves I've ever seen before was
my dad's training fighter called George Sutton, cracking cracking box
of beautiful boxer. He was seeing his white boxing gloves.
I'm like, wow, lovely, So I gets my gloves on him.
At the back guarden, we had probably about twelve by
twelve flooring, and Mohammad says, there's no rounds. There's no rounds.

(25:35):
He says, whoever loses this fight, he said in his
points to we had an old beat up dustbin, metal
dustin with a rubber top on it, and it was
in it in August. It was a good summer's day
in August. And this garbage can it's stunk. You can
imagine the heat, isn't it. It's sunk hand eye for
I'm not going to sit on that, you know. So

(25:57):
Mohammad is given at the large one with his Louisville lip.
What he's going to do to me? You sucker, you sucker,
I'm gonna beat you.

Speaker 3 (26:03):
Wait, no shape, two years out of training. Im on
vomba Jim, I'm the greats lord Tam the grades long.

Speaker 5 (26:11):
Term three tim cham in no condition.

Speaker 4 (26:14):
Woman, man, this is nineteen eighty three when Mohammad was retired.
I'm used to sparring with heavyweights. I was a weal
toweight used to sparring with heavyweights. So Mohammad is trying
to pit me out, calling me sucker and all that stuff.
What he's going to do to me?

Speaker 2 (26:28):
Where you put some more? Where you'll put some morning.

Speaker 4 (26:33):
And come on, Mohamma, let's get it home. Let me
tell you something. Even though he's taking easy on me,
his jabs alls I could feel was right on my forehead.
And nineteen eighty three he's retired. I could not see
his jabs move and I'm used to sparring with heavyweight.
I could not see his jabs move, and he's popping
his jabs out of bam bam bam, hitting my forehead

(26:55):
and I thought, wow, for that split second, I'm thinking,
if this is Muhammad Ali, now, what have you been
like in his prime against his other heavyweights? No wonder?
He battled them with his speed. Me and him's moving
around there and he's talking to me all the way
through it. Come on, what are you gonna do now, sucker?
What are you gonna do to me? I'm going to
get you now, madam. I caught him with a body

(27:18):
punch right now. I think I think he was being
kind to me. I think he felt sorry for me.
He probably thought I got to let this fella get
one in. So I caught him to the body and
that was it. His eyes wide open, like you know how,
he opened his eyes and he's coming back at me
even more now. And then I start going into the
cross guard and he says, Paddy, what you're teaching this guy?

(27:38):
What are you teaching him? He's doing a norton. He's
doing a Norton, and my dad's laughing. He said, come on, sucker,
I'm coming for you. Now I'm having I'm coming for you.

Speaker 2 (27:47):
Let's have it.

Speaker 4 (27:47):
Let's have it. And then all of a sudden, he
threw his arms up in the air. He said, I
don't believe it. I don't believe it. I just got
beat Paron. You're the new champion. You're the greatest, and
you just beat the greatest. Now you're the greatest. Hahmmad
went over and sat on that garbage can. He sat
on it. It's stunk. I went over to him. My
dad went over to it, and I went over to it,
and he gave me a big hope. He said, Tyrons,

(28:09):
I love sparring you. You're good. Since then, I have
three daughters, three beautiful daughters, Megan Ella and Kerry Anne,
and being present at their berths. Nothing can take that away.
But the next best thing that happened in my life
was sparring Mhammad Ali that day. And I still think
of it now as if it just happened yesterday or today.

(28:32):
He gave me the most amazing moment of my life.
He really did, and it's a memory. I got photographs
in the drawer. People say, oh, you should have them
up on the wall. Well, you know I've got them
lying in the drawer, but the memories are more so
in my mind and in my heart. You made me
feel good about myself and that that is something magic
that Muhammad had about him, what he could do for

(28:53):
other people. I've seen it so many times.

Speaker 2 (28:58):
That's a gift from your dad.

Speaker 4 (29:01):
Thank you very very much for saying that. If it
wasn't for my father, I would never have met Mohammad.
I would never had the chance to meet him. Oh,
my lovely thoughts.

Speaker 3 (29:11):
There's a young there's a young man here tonight. I
have to introduce. He's my number one fan in England,
mister Patty money and come here, Paddy, come on, come
on here. Well you tell these people a word or two, Patty,
I say something now and memories.

Speaker 4 (29:26):
It's all thanks to my daddy for what he'd done
for Mohammed and Muhammad acknowledging out there and striking up
with friendship with each other.

Speaker 5 (29:33):
There's only one thing I can say to you. All
world heavyweight champions may come and go, but in Muhammad
Ali's case, this will never be so, because forever he
will always be the people's champion. To you and to me,
thank you.

Speaker 2 (29:51):
As Muhammad got older, did you still come to visit?

Speaker 4 (29:55):
My dad noticed a shaking Muhammad's hand after the third
Ken Norton fight, a little slight shape. But that's when
my dad noticed something wasn't right with Muhammad in nineteen
seventy six. Muhammad visited us many times in the late
nineteen eighties, in the early nineteen nineties, ninety ninety one,
ninety two, and ninety three. He was with us. His
speech was a slurred but his mind was as active

(30:18):
as yours and mine and anyone else in that room
put together. He was very, very with it. There's obviously
times where you can see him slowing down a little bit,
but it didn't matter. He was Muhammad Ali. I think
it bothered other people more than it did Muhammad himself.

Speaker 2 (30:32):
Ali left a part of his spirit with you after
he visited you.

Speaker 4 (30:37):
Well, yeah, I've gone goose pimpley you saying that it
wasn't just a one visit. It was on every Visitah,
Muhammad was the light in the darkest room. For you've
met him yourself. You know what he's like. You know
where I'm coming from when I say that he would
be the light in the darkest room, and the charisma

(31:00):
and the life he brought into our home when he
was with us, and the joy, the laughter he brought
my sisters and my mum or my grandma and my
dad and the people I was there. It was just
absolutely electrifying. And when he left to go to London
wherever he had to go to, it was like it
really was as if he left part of his spirit

(31:22):
behind for us. I know a lot of people might
think I'm crazy talking like out there, but that's the
nearest world and say I'm getting I'm getting well and
nearful of bit now. It was just amazing.

Speaker 2 (31:36):
What part of you do you think you picked up
from Ali?

Speaker 4 (31:40):
There's lots of things.

Speaker 1 (31:40):
Really.

Speaker 4 (31:41):
One of the things that I can say is believe
in yourself, and that goes a lot a long way
for a lot of people, especially with anybody with their
mental health issues, because they could have went through some
terrible trauma in their life. Another way, I respect, I'm
respect it each in every way. But how he would
try to bring peace, peace into people's lives and the world.

(32:04):
If only these politicians today could be quarter of the
man Muhammad Ali was, there'd be peace in this world today.
Muhammad ad. He was tough. He had a jaw of granite,
and he was a tough tough man. And look how
soft and gently he was with children, How soft and
gently he would he go around the hospitals. My dad

(32:27):
would be with him going around the hospitals when they
were there. He was a couple of days before the
al b Lewis fight in Dublin. He was going around
the hospital picking up the children and wiping their dribbles
from their mouth. He kissed every child every he'd pick
them up if they if they were bed ridden, he'd
what their mouth if they're dribbling, and he'd bend over
and kissed every child. He's a big tough guy, but

(32:49):
what a heart, What a soft heart. Isn't the title
the perfect title, The People's Champion, that's the perfect title.

Speaker 2 (32:56):
Was Elvis gave him a nice road with that on
the back, with that sequence the world that Elvis gave me.

Speaker 4 (33:05):
My dad was with Muhammad at one time and Elvis
was on tour. But Muhammad had his number, and the
dad knew that my dad was an Elvis Presley fan,
so he phoned Elvis up. My dad got talking to Elvis,
chatting with Elvis, on the phone, and Elvis could not
apologize enough to my dad. Elvis Presley wrote, the People's Champion. Now,

(33:26):
that is what my dad named Muhammad. And when Elvis
saw the People's choice on the back Elvis, the floor
could have opened up and swallowed Elvis. It was the
people's Champion, not the people's choice, and that's why he
apologized to my father.

Speaker 2 (33:39):
In two thousand and nine, Muhammad came to Ireland.

Speaker 4 (33:42):
Mohammed was Iris. He said to me one day, I
can't remember how old it was. In our front room.
He leaned over and he said, Torone, do you know
why I'm so good at boxing? I said, no, Mohammed,
I don't know why. He said, because I'm Irish. They're
fighting Irish.

Speaker 2 (33:57):
In two thousand and nine, he travels to Ireland to
visit that ancestral home of Ennis, where his mother's family
was originally from, and you spent time with him.

Speaker 4 (34:06):
The day before we knew he was going to meet
Muhammad again. Then a man called John Ramsey came real
nice fella yea, and he took my dad and me
and my middle daughter, called Ella up into Muhammad's room.
Now the Muhammad Ali who we knew the big frame,

(34:26):
big shoulders on him and now seeing him just frail, Yeah,
it was sad. So Lonnie says, Muhammed, Paddy's here, Paddy
and Monahan, and then she said a couple of times,
Muhammed Paddy, Monahan's here. And he looked. He just looked

(34:48):
up like that there and a big grin. Oh, it's beautiful.
He had a smile on him like a Chesha cat.
And I was standing by his side and he was
trying to get up out of the chair. So I
helped him up out of the chair and he walked
over to my father and that both of them, they
just hugged. They just hugged, you know, it is lovely.
And then all the words were wrapped up in that hug.
And then he sat down, and my father was standing

(35:12):
up beside me. My daughter was opposite Mohammad, just a
couple of feet away, and I was with her, and
he looked, he looked at me, and he kept looking
at Ella, my daughter. Lonnie says, Tyrone, be careful. You
know what Mohammad's like. He's got a roveno for a young, young,
beautiful lady. So I looked at my hamm and I
went oh went out there to Mohammed. I made the

(35:34):
fist at my Hammed and he looked at me and
he gave me the fist back with that biting his
lip and he looks at me. He says, Tarne, is
this your daughter? I says yes, Mohammed he said it
can't be. She's too beautiful to be your daughter. So
he caught Della over and Ellis said said, okay, Daddy,

(35:54):
course on the way you go. So she sat with
him and he hugged her and gave her a kiss,
and she sat on the floor with her arm on
his knee and they were sabbing a little chat. Then
she came back over to me and my dad. Muhammad
was chatting away for a wee bit, and then time
was getting on and we can see that man was
getting tired. So my dad said, Lonnie, I think we

(36:15):
should go now, and the lonnie said we'll come back
tomorrow morning. But we didn't go back the following morning.
Before they left, once again, they gave each other that hug.
We left the hotel room and we as we walked out,
I looked at my dad and I could just see
the tears filling my dad's eyes. He said, we're never

(36:38):
going to meet again. I said, you can see him tomorrow.
Donnie said to come around tomorrow and said, no, we're
not going to meet it again. He knew that was
the last hug. So it was very, very touching. And
then John Ramsey knocked on the door and he explained
that they're going to Ennis tomorrow the following day and
he'd like us to come. Lonnie asked us if we

(36:59):
would like to come. So my dad was over the
moon with that there, but unfortunately I was running a
gymnasium at the time in the North of Ireland and
I had to get back. We didn't go to Ennis.

Speaker 2 (37:09):
What's the most memorable thing Muhammed ever said to.

Speaker 4 (37:12):
You, Oh, God, you're asking me a question there. No,
I don't know. There's so much, but I'll tell you
a very touching thing that he'd done. My grandma and
my daddy. They were very very close. I was very
close to my grandma. She's like, we're best friend. So
when her pass and when God called her, it was

(37:33):
hard for us. All she was suffering for two years.
But in one way we're glad that she's not suffering anymore.
But it's still it's still hitching and my dad was
going down. He wasn't going outside the house, and he
was really on the down and he's depressed. My mother
phoned Mohammed and I told him about what's going on.
My grandma passed away in May. In June, there was

(37:56):
a knock at the door and behold it was Mohammed.
My dad had no idea. Yeah, just after my name
was buried. He come on into the house and my dad,
where he's so down and so low. He lifted my
dad's spirit. He lifted all of our spirits up. It
was a sad time for us all, but especially for
my father. I don't know what it is, that magic touch.

(38:17):
He just puts something into you, brings you back up again,
gets you off your knees and onto your feet again.
Need done that to my dad, But at the lowest
time in my dad's life, he come over to see
my dad. I'll never forget that. I pray for Muhammad
every morning. I pray for him, every night. I pray

(38:37):
for him. I pray for my dad, I pray for
I pray for a lot of people. He's on my
mind when I wake up in the morning, He's on
my mind when I go to bed at night. Also,
I run thehammad Adi group on social media, so Muhammad
is always there with me. He's with me all the time.
There's not a day that goes by. I don't think
about the visits and the stories.

Speaker 2 (38:55):
You mentioned that he gave you a lot of autographs
over the years and are a gift to you in
a different way.

Speaker 4 (39:01):
Now, Well, my father would never take anything off of Muhammed.
And one time when my dad came back from visiting Mhammad,
when he opened up a suitcase, just when when Mum
was unpacking the suitcase, come across an envelope stashed with
Muhammed Ali all crafts. And one time when I was
going through a very bad time in my life and
I was taking my mum's dogs out for a walk

(39:24):
and I was praying. I was praying for my heart.
I was fighting for quite a few years in court,
but I couldn't afford his sister. This last time, I
needed a slicter and a barrister and that was a
lot of money. And I'm walking around the field with
the dogs and I'm thinking, how am I going to go?
I had six weeks to get the pants together. Come

(39:45):
in taking the dogs for a walk. I come in
and sat down. I thought about, hold on a minute.
I've got all these Muhammad allia able crafts. And I
remember my dad when he was alive, God Rest the soul,
he'd say to me. I said, Dad, what are you
going to do all of those Muhammad ali all crafts.
He says to me, I'm going to save them for
a rainy day. Well, I thought, well, the rain's hitting

(40:05):
me hard because it's not going to get any more
harder than what it is right here and right now.
So I said to me Mom, I said, Mom, he's
ma'am and Addie Outcrass's good squad, bad him. I said,
do you mind if I sell them so I can
get the money together for so I'd get a lawyer
for Kerry and says, oh, please do Toland, do what
you got to do. So I did. I had some
going back from nineteen seventy six up to nineteen eighteen nine,

(40:27):
nineteen ninety two, nineteen ninety three ones, autographs. I've even
got some castious Clay ones, but I didn't sell them
when and I've got the Casti Clary apparently in the
nineteen sixty the same year he won the Olympic medal. Yeah,
I was raffling out on the social media and I
managed to get the money together. I was. I was

(40:48):
eight hundred pound short. But a very good friend of
mine she phoned me. He says, how are you getting
on getting the money? I says, I'm eight hundred pound short.
She's not not know more you're not, so I'll give
you a leend of it. So she gave me a
lender out there and I paid her back within a week.
I sold another ADDI want and paid her back. So
Muhammad was helping me even in his past, and he
was still helping because without Muhammad doing that there to

(41:09):
give him the autcrafts, I wouldn't have got that money.
He's there in my heart, you know.

Speaker 2 (41:15):
Working on a book to tell the story of your
dad in his time with Muhammad.

Speaker 4 (41:22):
Thanks for mentioning that. The book's going to be called
Paddy Monhan The Rough Diamond. The rough Diamond is what
my father is called when he's doing the bare knuckle fighting.
It's not a Muhammad Ali story. It's a Paddy Monahan's
story about him coming over from Ireland over to England,
the prejudism that he had to endure, and how he
getting into the bare knuckle fighting, how the love from

(41:43):
Samuel Quark and other people, Ernie Danks and Tommy hurd
Ian Woodley helping my dad to get where he had
to get to, and then Muhammad Ali coming into my
father's life. I believe everybody knows that Muhammad Ali story's
done inside out, back to front. Everybody knows it. But
now I'm writing about Muhammadaddy where he comes into my

(42:04):
father's life and their friendship they've got. This is stories
that people don't know about. One time my dad phoned
Mohammed and he said he's doing a painting of Muhammed Muhammad.
He said, make sure you get my pretty side. And
if you said to my dad, when you get the
painting done, take a photograph of it and send me
the photograph. We didn't have a camera at the time,
so we went to next door neighbor and remember the

(42:24):
polaroid cameras, Yeah, you got one who was there, took
the polaroid off the picture and send it over to Muhammad.
If you phoned my dad up and he said, Padi,
I love the painting or want you to do something,
he says, okay, Mahamad, what do you want me do?
He said, I want you to get some prints done.
Someone said how many? He told my dad to get
aid and fifty prints and then one hundred and fifty
five artist proofs. So my dad done that, took them

(42:45):
over to America. There was in Barren Springs at the time,
and Muhammed and my dad signed each and every one
of them, and Mohammed said, Paddy, there for you, So
you go and sell them, make some money. My dad
go especially in Baron Springs where he had Mohammeddad orders memorabilia.
You say, Paddy, he said, take what you want. My
Dad says, I'm not going to take nothing. Mhammed he said,

(43:06):
take everything. He said I can't. He said, why can't, Paddy?
He said that I want you to take something. He said, Mohammed,
what I've got? Only a few people has got it
and you can't buy it. And he says, what's that?
He says, your friendship. So that says it all, doesn't it.
My dad didn't take any of the memobilia, but the
time before, Mohammed gave him a few bits and pieces

(43:26):
like a boot and the glove and that stuff. It
was great how he would get my dad to do
the paint and get Princeton off the painting to sell,
because that's his way of saying, yeah, Paddy, I gave
you a little bit there. Saxon was a notorious It
was a rougher area, but good people, you know, very
very good people, and the neighbors they appreciated what my
dad done. Bringing Mohammad over. Muhammed gave my dad a

(43:49):
walking stick, he committed. He had a black walking stick
and ebony walking stick. My Dad like yours, that's lovely,
and Howard had one and he said, well, I've got
you this stick here too, and he took off of
Howard and gave it to my dad. And apparently it
was the walking stick that a president of Mabotu his
son gave this other stick to Muhammad. It's not like

(44:10):
a big fancy stick, but still another nice walking stick,
and he gave it to my father.

Speaker 2 (44:14):
Do you still have it?

Speaker 1 (44:17):
I have.

Speaker 2 (44:20):
He's the sort of guy he didn't give a damn
about anything, and he knew a lot was saying, who
both are saying?

Speaker 4 (44:31):
My Dad and Muhammed they never judged a man by
the color of his skin or the clothes that they wear.
That's what I like about the pair of them.

Speaker 1 (44:44):
In our next episode, Muhammad loses the greatest love of
his life, while my life continues to shape shift in
surprising ways. Also we speak with the young Luivillion, whose
future sure through happenstance, was molded by his time with Ali.

Speaker 6 (45:06):
And he looked at me and he smiled, and his
eyes got big, and he reached out his hand like
I got a gift for you. And I wrapped my
hand around his hand, and he looked like he didn't
have any strength left in his body. But when he
grabbed my hand, I felt a rush of energy. He
was giving me pieces of his spirit.

Speaker 1 (45:28):
The Tao of Muhammad Ali is produced by Imagine Audio
for iHeart Podcast and hosted by me Davis Miller. My
co host is Craig Mortally, Carl Welker, Mark Bouch, Nathan Kloke,
Davis Miller and Derek Jennings are the executive producers. Produced
by Craig Mortally, sound design and mixing by Juan Borda,

(45:53):
music by DJ Sparr and introducing Isaac Miller. Additional music
is provided by Opera Louisiana's twenty twenty three production of
Approaching Ali and also Luminescence track Nuage. Visit luminescentmusic dot
com to check out more from the band. If you

(46:14):
enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and review The
daw of Muhammad Ali on Apple Podcast or wherever you
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