NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — In today’s Back Story, former WCBS anchor and reporter Gary Maurer remembers meeting boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
“The real Ali was that humble, soft spoken, thoughtful person that very few people got to see. And I was lucky enough to see that,” Maurer says.
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When Ali was suspended from boxing for his draft resistance, he did a one-man show on Broadway, called Big Time Buck White.
“I found him in his dressing room at the theater. He was putting on his makeup for the show. His wife was seated in the room. And it was just the three of us,” Maurer says. “None of the bragging, none of the ‘I am the greatest’ and ‘float like a butterfly.’ He spoke in very hushed tones about this difficult period of his life. He wanted people to understand where he was coming from in his protest – that this was genuine, it wasn’t grandstanding, and that he had real hardcore beliefs that led him to this.”