An American professional boxer and a social and religious activist, Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942, Kentucky, U.S. and died on June 3, 2016, Arizona. Born with the name of Cassius Clay Jr., but he changed his name in 1964 to Muhammad Ali after joining and converting into the religion of Islam.He was a legend who was not just an American heavyweight champion and an Olympic gold medalist boxer but also a strong influencer who is a role model for the people of the world. He was crowned as “sportsman of the century”.
BOXING WAS JUST A MEANS TO INTRODUCE ME TO THE WORLD-Muhammad Ali
A unique and greatest sporting figure that he was the first fighter to apprehend the heavyweight title three times. Ali in his 1-year professional career won 56 times. His strong beliefs related to race, religion and politics issues had been very outspoken during his career.
His amateur career showed at a very early stage by proving that he isn’t afraid of any bout. At the age of 12, when his bicycle was stolen, Clay reported at the police station about the theft, that he wanted to beat up the thief, the police officer Joe Martin, who was a boxing trainer, suggested Clay first learn how to fight. Joe Martin took Clay under his wing. At that time, he discovered his talent of boxing. Clay started working with Martin. Martin also gave training to the young people. Thus, Clay joined Martin training and begin his boxing career.
I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. -Muhammad Ali
After six weeks training of Clay, he was able to win his first bout in a split decision in 1954. Later Ali tried to win the 1956 Golden Gloves tournament. Three years later, he went to win the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, plus the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title for the heavyweight division.
In 1960, Ali won the U.S. Olympic boxing team. After his great Olympic victory, he won the hearts of Americans and became an American hero.After that, he continued to flourish his career by winning British heavyweight champion and later in 1964 he become the heavyweight champion of the world.
After converting his religion into Islam during the 1970s. Muhammad Ali beyond his athletic accomplishments started to fight through his outspoken views related to religion Islam, social and politics. He put his views against Vietnam War and was immediately arrested. His boxing licenses were suspended and stripped of his world heavyweight champion title. For more than three years Ali was not able to compete.
Ali returned with more enthusiasm and devotion to the ring and fought in three of the most iconic matches in boxing history, and was able to settle his reputation again in the world.He commenced his title as “The Greatest”. He fought a total of 61 times as a professional, losing five times and winning 37 bouts by knockout. His most famous appearances were in the the 1996 Olympic Torch lighting where he hold the Olympic Flag for the games.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth-Muhammad Ali
After his retirement, Ali devoted all his time to helping and motivating people around the world. He helped in raising funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix by announcing that he had Parkinson’s disease. He was an active social reformer and a philanthropist. Over the years, Muhammad Ali by his motivational speeches changed the way of people’s mind and heart. He raised his voice for the rights of people.
If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it- Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali was awarded a star with his name on “Hollywood Walk of Fame” but he refused to do so and said:
“I bear the name of our Beloved Prophet Mohammad PBUH., and it is impossible that I allow people to trample over his name.”
He is the only one who has his name on the “Hollywood Wall of Fame”.
The career of Ali is so influencing that he has not just won the hearts of people in the world but he also made his creator happy.
Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong. – Muhammad Ali
In 2015, things began taking a downturn for Muhammad Ali when he was hospitalized for a severe urinary infection after having survived with pneumonia. He was hospitalized again in June 2016 because of respiratory issue. The legend passed away on June 3, 2016, at a Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 74.
The most significant figure ever emerge in the 20th century is of Muhammad Ali. Now there have been several books, magazines, blogs, advertisements, documentaries and movies related to him that show that he has marked footprints in the people’s heart. Muhammad Ali RIP.