Muhammad Ali, A Great Athlete and humanitarian

Muhammad ALI born Cassius Marcellus Clay ( January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was a greatest  boxer and activist. He is regarded one of the most significant and celebrated big sports figures of the 20th century. From early in his career, Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial, and polarizing figure. Ali became an Olympic gold medalist in 1960 and the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964. Following his suspension for refusing military service, Ali reclaimed the heavyweight title two more times during the 1970s, Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, Ali devoted much of his time to philanthropy, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. Ali died on June 3, 2016.

Early life

Clay was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and  training as an amateur boxer when he was 12 years old. At age 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome . At age 22 in 1964, he won the WBA, WBC, and lineal heavyweight titles from Sonny Liston in a major upset. Clay then converted to Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay, which he called his “slave name”, to Muhammad Ali. He set an example of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the Civil Rights Movement

Ali Records

Muhammad Ali had a career record of 56 wins, five losses and 37 knockouts before his retirement from boxing in 1981 at the age of 39. Muhammad Ali death Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona after being hospitalized for what was reportedly a respiratory issue. The boxing legend had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and had in recent years undergone surgery for spinal stenosis. In early 2015, the athlete battled pneumonia and was hospitalized for a severe urinary tract infection.

 

 Muhammad Ali fights

Ali was like to sing his own praises. He was known for boasting about his skills before . In one of his more famously quoted descriptions, Ali told reporters that he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in the boxing ring. A few of his more well-known matches include the following:

Sonny Liston

After winning gold at the 1960 Olympics, Ali took out British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper in 1963. He then knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

Joe Frazier

1971, Muhammad Ali took on Joe Frazier in what has been called the “Fight of the Century.” Frazier and Ali went toe-to-toe for 14 rounds before Frazier dropped Ali with a vicious left hook in the 15th. Ali recovered quickly, but the judges awarded the decision to Frazier, handing Ali his first professional loss after 31 wins. After suffering a loss to Ken Norton, Ali beat Frazier in a 1974 rematch.

George Foreman

In 1975, George Foreman Another legendary Ali fight took place in 1974 against undefeated heavyweight champion George Foreman. Billed as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the bout was organized by promoter Don King and held in Kinshasa, Zaire. For once, Ali was seen as the underdog to the younger, massive Foreman, but he silenced his critics with a masterful performance. He baited Foreman into throwing wild punches with his “rope-a-dope” technique, before stunning his opponent with an eighth-round knockout to reclaim the heavyweight title.

Embarassing of Islam

retired from the sport at age 39. Conversion to Islam Muhammad Ali joined the black Muslim group the Nation of Islam in 1964. At first he called himself “Cassius X” before settling on the name Muhammad Ali. The boxer eventually converted to orthodox Islam during the 1970s.

 

Vietnam and Supreme Court Case

Muhammad Ali started a different kind of fight with his outspoken views against the Vietnam War in april 1967, he refused to serve on the grounds that he was a practicing Muslim minister with religious beliefs that prevented him from fighting. He was arrested for committing a felony and almost immediately stripped of his world title and boxing license. The U.S. Department  pursued a legal case against Ali, denying his claim for conscientious objector status. He was found guilty of violating Selective Service laws and sentenced to five years in prison in June 1967, but remained free while appealing his conviction, Ali missed more than three prime years of his athletic career. Ali returned to the ring in 1970 with a win over Jerry Quarry, and the U.S. Supreme Court eventually overturned the conviction in June 1971.

Muhammad Ali Family

Ali was married four times and had nine children, including two children he fathered outside of marriage. Ali married his first wife, Sonji Roi, in 1964, they divorced after one year when she refused to adopt the Nation of Islam dress and customs. Ali married his second wife, 17-year-old Belinda Boyd, in 1967. Boyd and Ali had four children together: Maryum, born in 1969 Jamillah and Liban, both born in 1970; and Muhammad Ali Jr. born in 1972. Boyd and Ali divorced in 1976. At the same time Ali was married to Boyd, he traveled openly with Veronica Porche, who became his third wife in 1977. The pair had two daughters together, including Laila Ali, who followed in Ali’s footsteps by becoming a champion boxer. Porche and Ali divorced in 1986. Ali married his fourth wife Yolanda in 1986. The pair had known each other since Lonnie was just six and Ali was 21; their mothers were best friends and raised their families on the same street. Ali and Lonnie couple remained married until his death and had one son together, Asaad. Ali’s Famous Fights Often referring to himself as “the greatest,” ..He had a sister and four brothers

Parkinson’s Diagnosis

In 1984, Muhammad Ali announced that he had Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological condition. Despite the progression of Parkinson’s and the onset of spinal stenosis, he remained active in public life. Ali raised funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona. And he was on hand to celebrate the inauguration of the first African-American president in January 2009, when Barack Obama was sworn into office. A few years before his death, Ali underwent surgery for spinal stenosis, a condition causing the narrowing of the spine, which limited his mobility and ability to communicate.

 

Philanthropy

After retirement, Ali devoted much of his time to philanthropy. Over the years, Ali supported the Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among other organizations. In 1996, he lit the Olympic cauldron at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, an emotional moment in sports history. Ali traveled to numerous countries, including Mexico and Morocco, to help out those in need. In 1998, he was chosen to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace because of his work in developing nations.

Presidential Awards

In 2005, Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush. Soon after Obama’s 2009 inauguration, Ali received the President’s Award from the NAACP for his public service efforts. Ali opened the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2005.

 

 

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