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Sugar Ray Leonard was as close as anyone came after Ali to being Ali, but he wasn't Ali.
Sugar Ray and talked about doing some articles together or writing a book together but dealing with Sugar Ray was a lot like fighting him. He would fake you in and then he'd drop you.
Sportswriters have changed more than sportswriting.
Some people who love boxing might love Mike Tyson, but people outside of the sport are generally repulsed by him and therefore, repulsed by the sport.
My writing improved the more I wrote - and the more I read good writing, from Shakespeare on down.
My top three were Jim Brown, Wilt Chamberlain and Bo Jackson.
It's kind of ironic that the two sports with the greatest characters, boxing and horse racing, have both been on the decline. In both cases it's for the lack of a suitable hero.
In fifty years of covering the sport, of course Muhammad Ali is by far the dominant figure.
If I got paid, it was no more than five dollars a column, and I still think I was overpaid.
I worked with Rocky Graziano and Rocky was certainly a character.
I was also in love with the English language.
I wanted to be a sportswriter because I loved sports and I could not hit the curve ball, the jump shot, or the opposing ball carrier.
I think on balance, Don King has been bad for boxing. I think he's done some very good things and I think he did a heck of a job of promoting Ali but I think I could have promoted Ali.
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