Sunday, June 5, 2016

Meeting Muhammad Ali at 2 a.m. in the morning

Meeting Muhammad Ali at 2 a.m. in the morning
by Nicholas Ashton, CEO/CIO, CommSmart Global Group of Companies

The Grosvenor Hotel, London, 1978, 2 a.m., as our company (SSAF) was working on bomb blast glass protection for the hotel, a limo drew up and out stepped Muhammad Ali, he had just been on the U.K. version of 'This is Your Life'. ( 

The revolving doors were being worked on and access to the hotel was limited.  
As he approached, we exchanged pleasantries and he showed interest in what our company was doing.  I asked him if he was enjoying his stay and where he had been that evening, which he replied, "they got me for the count on 'This is Your Life'."

Yes, I did ask for an autograph, for which he signed the back of my shirt, which shocked me.  Courteous and a genuine man who slipped through the doors and left me with a signature to remember.

I went inside to the front desk and asked if 'lost property' had a shirt in my size, which they found, so I could preserve my trophy of the evening.

That shirt is in Norfolk, England with an ex-wife and hope she has kept it...

I then met Muhammad Ali with my then business partner, Mike Winters of the British comedy duo 'Mike and Bernie Winters'.  Miike was finishing a book on Angelo Dundee, Ali's trainer.  This was in 1983, we had conversation for about 30 minutes and then all of us went to lunch.  

Four guys shooting the boxing breeze and knowing I was at the table of a guy who signed my shirt, which he said he remembered and he did in detail.

Angelo Dundee and Mike Winters passed on, respectfully in 2012 and 2013 and now Muhammad Ali has joined them in that great ring in the sky. A lot for them to talk and spar about.

So that leaves me, to share a couple moments of life and have dear memories of three great men.

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