The air steward who had the perfect comeback to Muhammad Ali's cockiness

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Saturday 04 June 2016 17:20
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As much as he's remembered for his prowess in the ring, Muhammad Ali managed to transcend the sport of boxing because of his principled stances on politics and religion and because of his wonderful charm.

Since Ali's passing, Thomas Hauser, one of his biographers, has recounted the years he knew the great man.

One of the highlights is the speech that Hauser gave at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, where he recalled a moment when the ever-confident Ali might have just met his match.

Hauser explained that when the pair had been boarding a flight from Washington to New York, a flight attendant asked:

Mr Ali; please buckle your seatbelt.

True to form, Ali responded:

Superman don’t need no seatbelt.

She replied sweetly:

Mr Ali, Superman don’t need no plane.

Hauser said of the speech he gave: "When I retold that story, Muhammad’s face lit up and he laughed as hard as anyone in the audience."

More: Remembering when Muhammad Ali invented the shortest poem in the English language

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