Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, KY. When he was a young kid his bike was stolen. While he was explaining to the officer about what happened and how he felt so angry about his bike stolen, after young Clay told his side of the story, officer Martin explained to him, he trains people in boxing down at the local gym. Clay was soon training.
Clay’s first amateur fight was in 1954, which he won by decision. A couple years later he went on to win a Golden Gloves tournament in the light heavyweight division. In 1959 he won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in the light heavyweight division. All of those wins allowed Clay to go on to the Olympics that were taking place in Rome, Italy. He went on to win the gold medal in boxing after he defeated Zbigniew Pietrzkowski from Poland.
Life after the Olympics was great for Clay. He was considered an American hero when he came back to the states. His winning streak continued in the ring, defeating Henry Cooper the British Champion and Sonny Liston. When he defeated Liston he became the new heavyweight champion of the world at 22 years old.
During Clay’s prime he decided to join the Nation of Islam. That is when he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Shortly after he converted to Islam, Ali started speaking against the Vietnam War. Ali was drafted into the war in 1967 but, he refused to join the war for religious reasons. Not long after his refusal Ali was arrested for violating the law and stripped of his title and license. He was sentenced to five years in jail, but Ali appealed the court’s decision. He was able to stay free while he appealing his case. The Supreme Court eventually overturned the ruling, by this time Ali has missed three years in fighting career.
A year after Ali’s return to the ring he fought Joe Frazier. This fight was considered one of the biggest fights ever. Joe Frazier won that fight by decision, giving Ali his first loss. What helped Frazier the hit in the 15th round the knocked Ali down to the ground, but was able to get up from the hit.
After his Frazier fight Ali had several incredible fights, a bout against George Foreman in which he won and Frazier again, regaining the heavyweight title. He then lost and regained the title from Leon Spinks. His last two fights of his career, he lost and decided to retire from boxing in 1981. Ali ended his career with a 55 wins and 5 loss record. Out of 55 of those wins 37 of those were knockouts. Ali himself was only knocked out once in his career.
During the early years of his retirement, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since then he has opened up the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix. He has traveled all around the world to help others that were in need. He received the Presidential Medal of Honor in 2005 as well the President’s Award from NAACP in 2009. Ali was able to open another one of his centers in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
Within these last few days Ali was admitted to the hospital. The news we were originally told was he was fine. As of June 3, 2016, we are hearing the Ali isn’t doing well at all and unfortunately has passed away at 74 years old. This saddens me and all fans of his all over the world. He is a great man at everything that he did. There will never be another class act man like Muhammad Ali was.
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