Local boxers emulate late, great Muhammad Ali

Posted at 11:19 PM, Jun 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-05 02:19:23-04

Even after so many years away from the sport, Muhammad Ali's legacy has continued to inspire new boxers.

And today many young boxers took to the ring hoping to emulate just one of the many things he did so well.

“His foot movement,” said amateur boxer Stephen Dillon.

“The Muhammad shuffle,” said youth boxer Eric Hernandez.

“The shuffle,” said Edmundo Rodriguez another youth boxer.

“I just love how he moves so good. He floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee,” said amateur boxer Chazz Macias.

That foot work being just one part of Ali's skill set that so many amateur and professional boxers have tried to copy.

“I try to imitate him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't,” said Dillon.

“Sometimes it doesn't out wrong, but practice makes perfect,” said Hernandez.

“I think the most important thing in boxing is your footwork and he had some of the most beautiful footwork, ever. So I mean who better than to use as an example,” said the owner and coach at Arvin Boxing Club, Mark Marquez.

But some say it's not just what he did in the ring that built his untouchable reputation - it's the mouth he had that often forced his hand.

“Outside the ring he was the same way that he was in the ring. He was aggressive in the ring and he was an aggressive talker outside the ring,” said Dillon.

He's the only guy who could ever talk all that smack and back it up. Nobody's ever done that,” said Marquez.

This time around Dillon said taking the ring for his own match felt a little different, knowing his idol was gone.

“It was like mixed emotions because it's like he's the reason why I started boxing,” said Dillon. “His speed was just, there was no one like him. It's hard to explain it because…I don't know. He is who he is, The Greatest of All Time.”

And many in the crowd at the tournament said one of the best parts of the day came after the National Anthem, when the bell rang out ten times in memory and honor of a man that will be greatly missed.