I float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, My name is Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was known for being the greatest boxer of his time as well as being an outspoken personality. He was the Olympic gold medalist in 1960 and the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964.
This is the story of his life...
Early years: Born on January 17, 1942, to a black family in Louisville, Kentucky Cassius Clay experienced racial prejudice and discrimination at a very early age. Little about Cassius' (Muhammad's original name) sweet nature in his early years suggested the brave and bold fighter he would become. Once in the October of 1954 Cassius rode his bicycle to an auditorium. He left his bicycle outside and when he came out he found it stolen. He looked frantically for his bicycle and didn't find it. In a fit of rage he told a police officer, Joe Martin, that he would "whup'' whoever had taken his bicycle. Martin then told him"Well you better learn how to fight before you start challenging people." In addition to being a police officer Martin trained boxers at a local gym. Cassius then started training with Martin to learn how to box. In the beginning, Cassius showed very little ability to fight in the ring. But after six weeks of hard training he won a three- minute split decision against a neighborhood kid named Ronnie O' Keefe. Joe Martin had a television boxing show on which the fight appeared and Cassius shouted "Ill be the greatest fighter of all time!".
A 12 year old Cassius on Martin's boxing show
Cassius's decision to become a boxer was in some ways fortunate as the sport allowed African- American athletes to compete. Jackie Robinson in baseball and Jack Jackson in boxing were good examples for Cassius during his childhood. They to broke the color barrier in their respective sports.
Schooling: Cassius struggled in his studies and put as little effort as he could in homework. He attended Central High in 1957 and barely graduated with a 72.7 average. He spent a lot of time in the gym and suffered from dyslexia ( a learning disability that affects reading). Although he was weak in his academics he worked hard in the gym. It took him years to finally start competing and winning in competitions.
Photo of Ali that introduced him to the rest of the world
The Young Champ: By his seventeenth birthday, Cassius Clay won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, as well as the Amateur Athletic Union's national title for the light heavyweight division. He continued his boxing career and won a spot on the Olympic team. In the 1960 Rome Olympics he won the light heavyweight gold medal. He was known for his fancy footwork and lightning speed in the ring. After his Olympic victory, Clay was looked upon as an American hero and soon turned professional. He defeated British heavyweight champion Henry Cooper in 1963, and then knocked out Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world. Cassius would refer to himself as "the greatest" and was known for his colorful personality and his boastful language.
Ali on the 1960 Rome Olympics podium
Conversion to Islam: Clay decided to join the black Muslim group known as the Nation of Islam in 1964. At first he called himself "Cassius X" before deciding on the name Muhammad Ali. He eventually converted to orthodox Islam during the 1970s.
Muhammad Ali talking about his conversion to Islam
Suspension: In 1967 Ali refused to serve in the Vietnam War because of his religion. He was arrested and had to give up his world title and boxing license. Until 1971 Ali was unable to compete as a boxer.
Ali after his court case. The newspapers refused to call him "Ali"
Comeback: Ali could resume boxing in 1970, before the Supreme court decision supporting him. In 1974 Ali fought against the undefeated heavyweight champion, George Foreman, in Kinshasa, Zaire. The fight was called the "Rumble in the Jungle". Ali shocked his opponent with an eighth-round knockout to regain the heavyweight title.
Ali vs Foreman
Inspiration to others: After retiring, Muhammad Ali supported many causes like the Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. According to his biographer John Tessitore, "aside from a champion in the ring, Ali was a participant in the civil rights movements, anti-war struggles, and himself forever changed the standards that the world holds for its heroes. Ali passed away on June 3, 2016 in Pheonix, Arizona. The champ's memorial service was held at the KFC Yum Center area with 20,000 people attending. Religious leaders from various faiths spoke at the service. One of them said, "Muhammad indicated that when the end came for him, he wanted us to use his life and his death as a teaching moment for young people, for his country, and for the world."
Brave, strong, and outspoken
Husband of Lonnie Ali, and father of : Laila Ali, Maryum Ali, Rasheda Ali, Asaad Amin, Hana Ali, Khaliah Ali, Jamillah Ali, Miya Ali, Muhammad Ali Jr
Who loved to overwhelm and fight his opponents and entertain the crowd
Who experienced and hated discrimination and wanted to show the world that anyone could be a champion
Who feared that because of his change in religion people might start rejecting him and he may lose his chance to fight
Who won a gold in the Olympics and became the World Light Heavyweight Champion, and came back from boxing exile to beat the existing champions
Who wanted people of all races and religions to be treated equally
Born in Louisville, Kentucky and retired in Berrien Springs, Michigan
By Sharad Parulekar
"Ali vs Foreman Round 8 : Ali KO's Foreman In The Greatest Fight Ever". video, Nov 15, 2010. Web. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTn9GeHs11I
Biography.com Editors. Muhammad Ali Biography, Athlete, Boxer, Philanthropist. The Biography.com. A&E Television Networks. June 13, 2016. Web. March 1, 2017.www.biography.com/people/muhammad-ali-9181165
"Cassius Clay at the age of 12." photo BBC.com, 1954 . Web. http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/zy3hycw
"Mohammad Ali - his conversion to Islam" .video, Oct 7, 2009. www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUJp_9GCR3w
"Muhammad Ali as a Baby"photo, Pinterest.com 1943 .Web.https://www.pinterest.com/pin/473652085794467287/
"Muhammad Ali,s Photos that Made Him The Hero of Millions of Young." photo Gistering.com. Web. https://gistering.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/muhammad-alis-photos-that-made-him-the-hero-of-millions-of-young/
Tessitore, John. Muhammad Ali, The World's Champion. Danbury: Franklin Watts, 1998. Print.
"There was open gloating in the press--along with a flat refusal to use his chosen name--when Ali was convicted,". Photo Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout.com, June 27, 1968. Web. http://patrickmurfin.blogspot.com/2016/06/remembering-muhammad-ali-and-his-real.html
"Year- 18-old light-heavyweight Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali) won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome". photo Bluffton Today.com, September 5,1960. Web.http://www.blufftontoday.com/bluffton-news/2012-07-22/summer-olympic-games-trivia
" THANKS FOR WATCHING MY PRESENTATION - minions" . (photo)Meme Generator. Web. March 3 2017 https://memegenerator.net/instance/64937351