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Muhammad Ali Obama Praises the Greatest

6/4/2016 7:19 AM PDT

Muhammad Ali -- Obama Praises The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was an inspiration, a hero, to President Obama ... who praised the champ as the man "who fought for what was right."

The President rhapsodized about Ali ... quoting the champ who once said, "I am America.  I am the part you won't recognize.  But get used to me -- black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own.  Get used to me."

Obama knew Ali and displayed a coveted pair of gloves in the study outside the Oval Office, right under the iconic pic of then Cassius Clay knocking out Sonny Liston.

It's a moving tribute ... worth reading for sure.

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