The undefeated boxer (she's 10-0) whose autobiography-cum-self-help book Reach! hits bookstores this month, sparred with us before her June 7 fight against Shirvell Williams in Memphis.
SI: Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to box your father in his prime?
Ali: I would get my ass beat.
SI: You're very honest in the book about the strained relationship you had with your father. Have you come
to peace with your childhood?
Ali: Some people will read my book, judge my dad and say, "I thought he'd be an ideal dad." But I love the way I turned out, so I can't fault him.
SI: How would you classify the relationship today?
Ali: Pretty much the same as it's always been. Me and my dad are so much alike that it keeps us from getting close. We both have very hard heads, and we do what we want to do.
SI: Your first fight was against a waitress [April Fowler]. Did you ever think about fighting a ma�tre d' or a short order cook for your second fight?
Ali: Did you know that I was a manicurist when I had my first fight? Put that in your article. She was a waitress; I was a manicurist.
SI: Between Stevie Wonder, John Travolta and Michael Jackson, which famous visitor was the coolest to meet as a kid?