Muhammed Ali was one of the greatest boxers to ever live. He was leader in and out the ring and changed the way sports is looked upon today. He broke several records, and in 1996, he was given the opportunity to light the Olympic flame. Prior to being an athlete, he also faced some rough times in his life. Muhammed Ali’s early life, accomplishments, and final years set him apart from other athletes during his lifetime.
Muhammed Ali’s early life contributed greatly to his athletic career. He was born in Cassius Clay on January 17, 1942. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He was the oldest of two boys. He was named after his father, whose name was Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. “Muhammad Ali”). He began boxing as an amateur at the age of 12, while only a child. He grew up in a very religious household. His dad was born Methodist, but his mother Odess Grady Clay raised him and his 2 siblings Baptist. It did not take him long to realize that he was unusually good at this sport with his Reflexes and quick response. According to Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, “Muhammad Ali is a former American boxer and three-time World Heavyweight Champion, who is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight championship boxers of all time”. “As an amateur, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.” With this fame, Ali became known as a professional fighter, he especially became more of a household name when he defeated Sonny Liston, which was on February 25, 1964. This event led him to win the world heavyweight title (“Muhammad Ali”).
Muhammed Ali accomplished many things during his lifetime. Ali went on to defend his title successfully six more times before losing to Leon Spinks on February 15, 1978. He then took on Spinks again and won the title for the third time, defeating him on September 15, 1978. After this fight he made the announcement that he was joining the Nation of Islamism (in 1964) and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. He set many records that still stand this day Including 56 wins (including 33 knockouts) and only 5 losses in his career. He was known in the boxing world by his nickname “the Greatest” By his incredible win loss record. According to Britiannica “His motto was, “I am the Greatest.” Ali was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005. During that same month the Muhammad Ali Center, which is known as a cultural gathering place honoring the boxer, opened in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ali had a successful, and rough final years of his life. As he faced retirement from the ring, he began to face health problems. He was thought to have Parkinson Disease, which impaired his speech and movement. However, he tried to remain very positive and active. According to Britannica “In 1996 he was chosen to light the Olympic flame at the start of the Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and from 1998 he traveled widely as a United Nations Messenger of Peace”. Muhammad Ali died on June 3, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona. He was known for his saying “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” little did he know how much effect that saying had on his boxing and would have on the world when he started boxing at the age of 12. Comment by Austin Daniel:
In conclusion, Muhammed Ali’s early life, accomplishments, and final years set him apart from other athletes during his lifetime. He was known for his leadership in and out of the ring, which changed the way sports are looked at today. His early life, accomplishments and final years set him apart from other athletes during his lifetime. He had many opportunities, in his life other than boxing, that help give him his name. With some rough times that he faced in his life, along with his accomplishments, Cassius Clay now know, as Muhammed Ali, is known as one of the world greatest boxers to ever live.
- “Muhammad Ali.’ Britannica School, Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Jan. 2020. school.eb.com/levels/middle/article/Muhammad-Ali/272808. Accessed 3 Feb. 2020
- “Muhammed Ali.” Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. 2020. http://www.walkoffame.com/muhammad-ali. Accessed 3 February 2020.