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Ali to Appear on 'Touched by an Angel' Episode

TelevisionThe boxing legend will offer the message that fighting is a skill, not a solution.

May 03, 1999|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali said he would make a guest appearance on a popular TV show to tell children that "fighting is not the answer to frustration and hate," TV Guide reported in its latest issue.

Ali told the magazine that he would appear Sunday on the CBS TV show "Touched by an Angel," which features an angel sent to help people in turmoil or those who need spiritual intervention.

The magazine said that in the episode, the former world heavyweight boxing champion tries to teach an abused and neglected boy who learns to box so that he can beat up other children that boxing is not the answer to his problems.

"Fighting is not the answer to frustration and hate. It is a sport, not a philosophy of life," said Ali, who responded to TV Guide's questions by fax because his speech is limited by Parkinson's disease.

"I do not promote anybody becoming a professional boxer. I would prefer children use it as a springboard, not as a career choice.

"It requires focus, skill, dedication, discipline--all qualities you can use in any profession or any aspiration you might have," said Ali, who last month urged Congress to help reform boxing. He said proposed new legislation should control unscrupulous promoters and help young fighters take over their own careers.

Ali also will be serving as a consultant on his biographical film but he said he could "neither confirm nor deny" that Hollywood star Will Smith would play him, TV Guide also reported in its latest edition, which appears on newsstands today.

But Ali told the magazine, "I think Will has the charisma, the looks, the smile--and we'll see if he has the skill."

Smith starred in "Men in Black" with Tommy Lee Jones and will appear this summer with Kevin Kline in "The Wild Wild West."

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