Bob Dylan Explains Why Muhammad Ali 'Truly Was The Greatest'

With the eloquence only Dylan has.

In 1964, shortly after Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, defeated Sonny Liston to become World Heavyweight Champion, rocker Bob Dylan penned "I Shall Be Free No. 10," in which he sings about the legendary boxer.

Now, in the wake of Ali's death more than half a century later, Dylan is remembering the boxer for his bravery, kindness and excellence.

In a short but moving Facebook post Saturday, Dylan wrote, "If the measure of greatness is to gladden the heart of every human being on the face of the earth, then he truly was the greatest."

Ali, frequently called "The Greatest of All Time," died Friday at a hospital in Arizona. He was 74. 

As Rolling Stone reports, Dylan has been a long-time admirer of Ali and the sport of boxing, which inspired songs like "Who Killed Davey Moore" and "Hurricane."

"I was shadow-boxing earlier in the day, I figured I was ready for Cassius Clay," Dylan sings in "I Shall Be Free No. 10." "I said 'Fee, fie, fo, fum, Cassius Clay, here I come. 26, 27, 28, 29, I’m gonna make your face look just like mine. Five, four, three, two, one, Cassius Clay, you’d better run."

As seen in the photo below, Dylan and Ali met backstage in 1975 during Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue at Madison Square Garden



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