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The time Muhammad Ali showed a pirouetting Michael Jackson how to “float like a butterfly”

  • Adam Pasick
By Adam Pasick

Senior Editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Back in the 1970s, the Jackson 5 had their own TV variety show, where they hosted none other than Muhammad Ali, who deployed his trademark rhyming skills.

When Michael Jackson asked the legendary boxer what he planned to do  after retirement, Ali responded:

“If I’m ever out of the ring, and I find myself in a fix, I’ll join you guys, and we’ll become the Jackson 6.”

Then, in an amazing sequence, a pirouetting Michael shadow-boxes with Ali, and asks if he has what it takes to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Ali says: “You’ve got the butterfly part down, Brother Michael, and you sing real sweet for the cycle. But before you can sting people out of their wits, you gotta put on some meat and keep on eating your grits!”

Jackson’s response? “Man, you cold.”

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