Following the tragic death of legend Muhammad Ali aged 74, Will Smith took to Facebook to share his tribute and feelings of the devastating news.
“You shook up the World! My mentor & My Friend. You changed my Life. Rest in Peace.”
In 2001, Will Smith was up for an Oscar nomination, during an interview with famous spokeswomen Oprah Winfrey he was able to sit alongside the iconic boxer where Muhammad Ali was asked about the actors performance in Michael Mann’s ‘Ali.’ He responded with “He scared me.”
Will’s response was proud and full of motivation;
“The champ looked at me and gave me the nod that I did a good job.
“I worked as hard as I could possibly have worked.”
During 2015, Will was able to talk about Ali again at the Sports Illustrated magazine’s Sportsperson of the year dinner where he complimented Ali;
“But when we think about the legacy of Muhammad Ali, what he did in the ring is not what we think about.
“For nearly two years, I worked to transform myself into the man who changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali and shook up the world. That’s really what makes my job so beautiful as an actor.
“For four or five months at a time, I got to wear Muhammad Ali’s greatness. I got to study and feel and embody the soul of the man. From the foundations of Islam and the strength of his Muslim faith and his life to the beautiful wake that he always leaves in his magnificent path.”
Ali once said;
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
The boxer stuck by that his whole life as he faced his hardest fight in 1984 when he was unfortunately diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which reportedly was due because of brain injuries encountered during his champion days. Although the disease ended his boxing career, Ali continued to fight and remain ‘The Greatest’ his name will live on just like his legacy which has been passed through many generations and many more to come!
RIP Muhammad Ali – “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”