Michael Israel miraculously knocks us out with his expression: Muhammad Ali. Michael manages to place us ringside, peering through the ropes with a snapshot creation of the “Greatest of All Time”. Michael’s artistry and passion breathes life into the Creation. Looking into Muhammad Ali’s eyes, we experience the electricity of walking into the ring with him, touching gloves and tasting the experience of going toe- to-toe with “The Champ”!
With little debate, Muhammad Ali served us unbridled determination, confrontational passiveness, choreographed swagger, a cool breeze of wit, riveting magnetism and a brief trip to Antarctica and Santa’s House to check our polarity. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. after the 19th Century Abolitionist of the same name, Cassius experienced the deep divide of segregation throughout his childhood sculpting the image that would incite both love and hatred beyond anyone’s wildest fascinations. His father was a Painter, Piano Player and rumored to be a wonderful Dancer and though his father faced his own demons on a nightly basis (alcohol) he provided young Cassius with a stable childhood and family life. One day, when Muhammad was 12, he and a friend rode their bicycles to the Louisville Home Show for free drinks and hot dogs. After eating and getting restless for home, Muhammad was stunned to find his bicycle stolen! He asked where he could find a Policeman to report the crime and was instructed to find Joe Martin…and Muhammad did! Officer Martin contemplated Muhammad’s fierce passion “I want to beat the boy up who stole my bike!” and since Officer Martin ran a Boxing gym not far from Muhammad’s house, Martin suggested that maybe, “You should learn to fight first” and the flame that would soon engulf the world was ignited!
Muhammad’s passion is very much like Michael’s: torrential, focused, provocative and unique’. Michael wants all people to reach deep inside and bring forth the passion that we all have in us! Muhammad and Michael have used their gift to help others who have not been as fortunate as they are. Michael believes that the joy in releasing our hidden talents will spur us, through our gratitude of awareness, to help and assist others. This is Michael’s Mission: helping others by helping ourselves become the best possible person we can be!
Muhammad worked extremely hard and waltzed through any opponent put in his path. Muhammad was good enough to make the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team and in the title bout, beat a Polish fighter and won the gold medal at the age of 18. Muhammad came home and immediately turned to Professional Boxing as a vocation. Four years later, he fought one of the most feared and intimidating fighters of all time; Sonny Liston. What transpired on that night in Miami, Florida would provide us with a glimpse of what was to come. Muhammad, thoroughly authentic with a ‘Bounce Around” the ring style and never holding his hands up to protect himself (Muhammad’s monogram), utterly bewildered and destroyed Sonny Listen so completely that Sonny Liston refused to fight into the 7th round! Sonny Liston, the indestructible, was defeated and the world now saw a brash and entirely new Heavyweight Champion of the World!
Michael connects easily with Muhammad’s will to win against all odds. Michael uses that same type grip Muhammad had to place himself in front of thousands of audience members around the globe and achieve in the name of charity. As Muhammad used his Art of “Floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee” to serve his causes, Michael uses the same flash and flair to serve his fans and his causes.