COLIN Hart has been the boxing correspondent for The Sun since the 1960s and is known as the “Voice of Boxing” in the UK.
IT WILL not be a shock to those of us who travelled with Muhammad Ali, that a new book reveals he had an insatiable sexual appetite.
Soon after I went on the road with him at the beginning of the 1970s I quickly realised he made Casanova appear to be a raving misogynist.
Putting the notches on his bedpost must have blunted many a knife as his conquests included black women, white women, young women, old women, Hollywood actresses and lowly chambermaids.
Jonathan Eig, an American journalist and best-selling author, devotes a chapter in his definitive biography Ali — A Life to The Greatest’s countless affairs and one-night stands.
The truth is he could easily have filled the 500-plus pages with them.
I was a fringe spectator at the breakup of Ali’s second marriage, to Belinda, which ended in a violent confrontation in a Manila hotel suite.
The saga started two months before in Kuala Lumpur, where Ali defended his world heavyweight title against Joe Bugner, in 1975.
At his sparring sessions Belinda sat in the front row chatting and laughing happily with a stunningly beautiful girl I hadn’t seen before.
Knowing Ali’s reputation, along with the rest of the press corps I was convinced she was his latest girlfriend.
But the leaders of Ali’s large entourage refused to let us get anywhere near her to ask questions.
Pat Patterson, Ali’s Chicago cop bodyguard eventually took pity on us and said her name was Veronica Porche, and she was 19-year-old California actress and model.
So what was she doing there? Pat, with his tongue very firmly in his cheek, confided she was Ali and Belinda’s babysitter!
After Ali outpointed Bugner, Belinda, who was well aware of Ali’s infidelities, and in fact condoned them, went home to America.
Eight weeks later Ali went to the Philippines to prepare for Joe Frazier and the Thrilla’ in Manila, and took Veronica…