PAGE 5

Oprah: Did you talk that way partly for show?

Muhammad: Yes. And next year, I'm going to shock the world even more. No boxer has ever come back at age 60. But I'm going to come back, get in shape, and be the number one contender again.

Oprah: You're kidding, right?

Muhammad: No.

Oprah: I'm shocked.

Muhammad: Ask my wife. I'm still in good shape, and I'm keeping my weight down. And if I don't beat the guy, he can keep my purse.

Oprah: No—don't do that! Haven't you had enough of the ring? Or do you still dream of being up there?

Muhammad: Not just being up there, but boxing.

Oprah: You should just sit here on the farm and have a good time, because you are already the greatest. Do you wish you had left the ring sooner?

Muhammad: No.

Oprah: When you go back and watch old tapes of yourself boxing, don't you marvel?

Muhammad: No—it doesn't look like much to me.

Oprah: You don't look at it and say, "I really was pretty"? I watched the second Liston fight, and you were literally dancing in the ring and taunting him.

Muhammad: So just think how great it would be if I came back at 60!

Oprah: I won't be there to watch you—but when you get in shape, you come on my show and tell how you did it! Let's talk about that first Joe Frazier fight and your legendary rivalry with him. Did you believe that you could whip Frazier?

Muhammad: Yeah. But I was never 100 percent sure. I was scared to death.

Oprah: I remember one fight when Frazier knocked you down for a second, but you popped right up. What does it feel like to be knocked down?

Muhammad: You're dazed and you look like hell. You can see the crowd, and you try and shake it off and get up. All those fights were good fights.

Oprah: In your best days, would you have liked to have fought Mike Tyson?

Muhammad: Next question.

Oprah: Who would you have wanted to be in the ring with?

Muhammad: Lennox Lewis.

NEXT STORY

Comment

LONG FORM
ONE WORD