Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers of all time. He was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. His original name was Cassius Clay as he was named after a white abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay. When he was only 12 years old, his bicycle was stolen.
A police officer, Joe E. Martin who was also a boxing trainer encouraged him to learn how to fight so that he can stand up to himself. In 1964, Cassius Clay converted and joined the Nation of Islam. It was at that time he changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Quick Facts: –
- He was the first ever heavyweight fighter who won the crown three times.
- He made his professional debut with a win over Tunney Hunsaker on October 29, 1960.
- He was banned from boxing for 3 years because he refused to serve in the U.S. Military during the Vietnam War.
- In 1996, he was honored with a great responsibility of lighting the Olympic fire.
- Muhammad Ali’s fight on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden against Joe Frazier is known as ‘Fight of the Century’.
- This fight lasted the full 12 rounds. It was his first professional defeat.
- He retired from boxing in 1981 with a 56-5 record.
- Muhammad Ali has various nicknames like the Greatest, the Champ, and the Louisville Lip.
- He was afraid of flying and skipped the 1960 Rome Olympics.
- He died on June 3, 2016, at the age of 74 years after a long battle with Parkinson disease.