The final photo-tribute: 5 captivating images of Muhammad Ali at 74
In a remarkable pictorial montage that has just been published, The People’s Champion can be seen posing for the camera one last time in the course of his illustrious life.
The photoshoot which happened as recently as late March this year will now remain the final time Muhammad Ali struck a pose for his followers at large. Through the lens of British photographer Zenon Texeira, the heart-rending effects of the vile Parkinson’s disease that had repressed his physicality for over three decades have been vividly captured – yet the mightiness of his indomitable spirit is unmistakable as the legend still manages to smile and hold his stance while he is being clicked.
Certainly not an image the world would’ve wished to see, or the legend himself would’ve wished to be remembered by – nevertheless, it brings forth a smile that only a true fighter of his stature could pull off under such a scenario of personal health.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see.” – Ali the champion packs a punch like he did throughout his heydays to punish many an opponent inside the ring. The bearing of that mild grin works just like an icing on top of the delightful motivation this image provides a viewer with.
The sideways stare that would often be followed by a punishing hook to the right that would see his fellow boxer collapse to the floor of the ring, unlikely to rise again before the bell would ring to signal yet another Muhammad Ali victory.
In greyscale, the last shot conveys the downright menace that the boxer had been for his challengers in a 22-year-long professional career. Yet again, it just goes on to prove how his incapacitating illness could only get to his body – but never to his unyielding soul, in all these years.