Muhammad Ali: Boxing Champion of Diplomacy
November 29, 1990: BAGHDAD — At least 14 U.S. hostages will be allowed to go home with former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, the boxer’s manager said yesterday.
Ali went to Iraq last week at the invitation of the Iraqi government and he met Tuesday with President Saddam Hussein, who reportedly told Ali that he would not allow him to leave empty-handed.
It was not yet known who the released hostages were and how they were selected.Ali said yesterday: “I am happy to be involved, to be in a position to help.”
His spokesman, Jaber Mohammed, said Ali hoped to get a list today of at least 14 Americans who would go home with him, probably Saturday.“We picked Saturday because juma (Friday) is the holy day, and we did not want to interrupt our prayers,” the spokesman said. Ali, 48, converted to Islam in 1964.