Watch: Paul Simon Breaks News of Muhammad Ali's Death During 'The Boxer' in Berkeley

Boxers are aggressive by nature, but "The Boxer" -- from Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water -- ruminates on the more sensitive, vulnerable psychology of those whose chief profession it is to knock another man unconscious.

So it's fitting that at his concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on Friday night, Paul Simon took a moment to inform the 8,000-capacity crowd of the breaking news: "I'm sorry to tell you this way," he announced mid-song, "but Muhammad Ali has passed away."

In the video above, hear the crowd react to the news, while also taking note that the moment comes with a little bit of a bubble burst: Paul Simon has repeatedly said that "The Boxer" is autobiographical, about his own bouts with critics, and not about actual left-hook throwing pugilists like Muhammad Ali.

Does that diminish the poignancy of the moment? As someone who knows many people who were in the Berkeley audience that night, I can say confidently: Not at all.

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