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Mark Stoops has always been a boxing fan

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)


There’s no way not to be impressed with Muhammed Ali — or at least that is how Kentucky coach Mark Stoops feels.

Stoops admits he’s a boxing fan.

“I did not have any relationship with Muhammed Ali, but how can you not just be unbelievably impressed with him and his life and what he did in the ring and more importantly what he did outside of the ring,” the UK coach said.

“I definitely grew up a boxing fan and grew up with Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini. I just saw him not too long ago back home. We did an event with the United Way and all of my brothers and Ray was a part of it. He was a world champion, grew up on the street behind us, so we take a lot of pride in boxing.

“You saw me last year at the fight with (Mike) Tyson. I didn’t show you the picture, but we had one where Tyson was about to knock me out. I didn’t put that on Twitter, but it’s always enjoyable.”

Has he ever used boxing as a training technique for football?

“I think people use many different techniques, whether it be some form of karate to work hands or boxing to work hands. People will do many things to help themselves be better, and again, so be it. We haven’t used boxing, but individuals who have or on their own so be it.”


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  1. Clay (Ali) never served his country, that don’t impress me much.

  2. He did more things right than wrong Larry and did impress me

    1. Well, tell that to all the good men who did go and server and lost their lives in the process defending their country for people like him. As for Muslims, they killed 3,000 of our own on 911. I won’t forget that either anytime soon. I don’t line up with all this political correctness today. Just telling it like I see it. Hero my butt. Great fighter yes. I was in a hospital in a Naval hospital in Okinawa when he knocked out Sonny Liston. I was pulling for Liston. .

      1. Thank you for your service Larry Pup.

      2. And Semper Fi there brother.

        1. Norman you are truly a VV friend. Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot to me.. I would go again if I was 20 years old. I know your father served as I recall. Semper Fi to you my good friend.

  3. Larry,

    Look at the context back then. Blaming all Muslims for 911 tragedy is a sad reflection on our society. Don’t blame the masses for the few that preach hate and cause it. America is a melting pot and who cares who you were rooting for. The fact that Ali had that many people come out speaks testament to his character. Your anti Muslim rants just display how bigoted you are. Why don’t you call out the KKK as well? They actually preach hate on a regular basis. Idiot.

    1. Andy if you want to fall all over yourself about Ali (Cassius Clay) go for it. I never cared for him. As for Muslims, America better wake up. If they are so peaceful then why are they killing everybody all over the world, and treating women like second class citizens? Trump has it right. As for the “context back then” as you say, the way I see it, it was all about many a young men serving their country like real Americans and some dying in a war he refused to serve in. How I feel is none of your business so back off Hoss!

      1. Like I said you are bigoted and your ugliness is being revealed. I don’t care who you vote for and you interjected politics in a sports blog. Did you see through the prism of Ali’s context back then? If I remember correctly Trump had nothing but nice things to say about Ali as well. Now get off your hate speech and go spew your nonsense elsewhere. You are violating the rules set forth on this blog for hateful speech. Just delete your account you idiot.

        1. This is your blog now Andy? When Larry Vaught kicks me off I will go. I would like you to call me an idiot to my face instead of hiding behind a computer. Opinions are like noses, everybody has one. Nothing on here says we all have to agree on a topic. As for hate speech I never called you an idiot. You got it stuck in your crawl because I pointed out Clay’s refusal to serve his country at a time of war. That too is part of his legacy. That is all I was doing. For that reason, I never liked him.

            • Andy on June 12, 2016 at 12:48 pm

            You are not worth the time or energy. Can’t cure stupidity esp on a level like yours.

          1. You promise Andy? Glad I rattled your chain. You sound just like a blooming liberal

          2. I think it is time we just all moved on. Agree or disagree about Ali is fine. But let’s just stick to sports debates here and we have more than enough of them with football approaching

  4. Larry , not all Muslims are bad people Ali didn’t promote hate or war against us. The 911 was cause by own government that should have prevented it. They had clues that it was coming but ignore it

    1. Yeah it was all Bush’s fault right Cats? Now I will agree with you it was the Obama Administration’s fault for the Fort Hood and the San Bernadino killings, by the way, all done by Muslims. Where are all these peaceful Muslims crying foul when good Americans die at the hands of Islamic terrorist? How can you really tell one from another living in an all Muslim community such as in Detroit and other places in America?. All you get is silence from them. Cats, listen to this, when they ever outnumber us in the good old USA that is when all hell will break loose. You can count on that. They hate our way of life. You will get Sharia Law, then you will be whining that our government should have stopped it. Are there any real Americans out there anymore. Here chew on this, I’m a staunch conservative, red blooded American who served in Nam in the USMC. I a born again, Independent, fundamental Baptist who believes in door to door soul winning to keep people out of a burning hell. I believe in the 2nd Amendment to keep and bear arms, I would saddle up again today to defend our nation against all foreign and domestic threats Thank God for Navy Seals. I have zero tolerance for any able bodied male in this country, living off the fat of the land, that will not defend our way of life. Just wanted to make myself clear on what started out as just my opinion on Cassius Clay (Ali) and his legacy. If that upsets you then so be it. Now we have Orlando this morning to deal with.

  5. @ Larry Vaught. Are you really going to let LP continue to write this kind of nonsense on your blog without any ramifications. It’s one of the rules you set forth. Please take some action.

  6. Everyone is entitled there opinion and Ali had his. He had more guts to stand by his opinion.

  7. Well consider this, shortly after Clay converted to Islam he was on a talk show in England and called all white men “blue eyed blonde haired devils.” That is a fact and can be seen on the internet to this day. Check it out. He also said at that time that he did not have any white friends. Called Angelo Dundee, his famous trainer, not a friend but an associate. His hero was Elijah Mohammed who preached the same hate. Read up on Islam Cats. The Sinnis hate the Shia. As far as I know Ali was a Sunni Muslim. Funny but so is ISIS. I am not implying he was a terrorist. To deny all this is to deny history. He was a great fighter, no doubt, but he turned his back on his country when they called on him. If you guys want to make a hero out of this guy, go for it. Not me.

  8. Anyways rest in peace Ali the world will miss you!! Ali! Ali , Ali !!!!

    1. America is a Christian nation,and was founded on Judeo-Christian values. According to the Bible there is only one way to Heaven and eternal life, that is through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, John 3:16, John 14:6. Muslims do not believe in the God of Christianity, have not for centuries, and still don’t. That in a nutshell is the entire problem. Peace my friend.

  9. Larry p just drop it. My last post wasn’t anything directly about you.

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