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Former editor reminisces rare chance to cover boxing legend Muhammad Ali

Former editor reminisces rare chance to cover boxing legend Muhammad Ali
FRANCIS: He never stopped talking and his press conferences were always laced with humour
KUALA LUMPUR: For every sports journalist, the chance to cover a legend in the field comes few and far between.

However, for former sports editor Tony Francis, getting the rare chance to cover boxing legend Muhammad Ali was a memory that he cherishes throughout his life.

"Ali is a sports writer's dream. He gave excellent quotes and action. He always had it all covered," said Francis.

Whether it is a press conference after his morning workouts or before a fight, Tony said Ali had always been 'entertaining'.
"He never stopped talking and his press conferences were always laced with humour," added Francis who is deeply saddened by the news of Ali's demise.

Back then in June 1975, Tony was a sports writer with The New Straits Times (NSTP) where he covered the world championship bout between Ali and Joe Bugner in Kuala Lumpur.
"Back then, it was always a big occasion.

"Be it school children or those who work in the office, a Muhammad Ali match is always followed by many Malaysians," Francis reminisced lamenting the loss of a great boxing legend.

Muhammad Ali, 74, died Friday after succumbing to Parkinson's disease which he had been battling for decades.

The heavyweight boxing legend passed away in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, where he had been admitted earlier this week suffering from respiratory problems.