Research Paper31 May 2000
Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, Kylon January 17 1942. He grew up in a poor family. Ali had problems in school at an early stage and felt he had to do something different. His future career was fulfilled at 12. When Joe Martin police officer and boxing coach, tried to get Ali started with boxing.
At the age of 16, Ali had won two Golden Glove Titles, two National AAU Titles, he was by now nationally recognized. When the 1960 Rome Olympic Game was about to take off, Ali was provided with an opportunity to represent his country. At this point he had fought 103 amateur matches, and had only lost five. Ali went with Olympic team to Rome, and ended winning the gold medal. When he got back to his hometown, Louisville, he thought that he was going to be treated as a champion, but he still was discriminated by the white society. Ali decided to throw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River because of his anger about the racism in his hometown.
By the age of 22 Ali had a professional boxing record of 19-0. On February 25, 1964, Ali got the heavyweight title shot. Through all the media he was considered to be the “underdog”. Before the fight Ali used the media to psyche Sonny Liston. He predicted that ” Sonny will fall in four”. Ali entered the ring as a 7-1 underdog to the Champ Sonny Liston. Ali used his speed and movement to thoroughly outbox the champion. Ali became the second youngest champion in history. After the fight Ali told the world that his name was now Muhammad Ali and that he had joined the Nation of Islam. It put a great effect on his boxing career.
As the champ he realized his popularity in society, and he used it to his power to speak for the Civil Rights. He became a political symbol of the black society, and maybe most influential beside Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. During the next three years, he defended his title nine times with Ernie Terrell and then became the undisputed Heavyweight Champion. On April 28, 1967, the army for the induction of the military service to fight in the Vietnam War drafted Muhammad Ali. He refused to step forward when they called his name because of the religious beliefs. He was immediately stripped of the heavyweight title, and got a five year sentence to serve in prison, which was he appealed right away. He had no more fight in 1967, 1968, and 1969. Ali said he could not fight in the war because of his religious beliefs. He already taken the army test and score 35 percentile, and to qualify you needed at least a 55 or higher. Then most people were drafted through the ages of 18-22, and he was 25.
What he did made him even more popular in his society, then they overturned his conviction. In 1970 he made his first fight back and he didn’t lose a step on his skills. His rep gave him a title shot against Joe Frazier, the fight was known as the fight of the century.
That was when he suffered his first pro lose. In October 30, 1974, it was Ali vs. Forman a match that everyone had waited for. It was held in Zaire and it was nicknamed “the rumble in the jungle”, and once again he was the underdog. People where actually feared for his safety because it was know that Forman was the hardest puncher in boxing history. Ali ended up winning the fight by KO, and once again the heavyweight champ.
It was the third match between Joe Frazier and Ali, and it was going to be known as “The Thrilla In Manilla”. That was his hardest fight of his career. Then he lost the title in 1978 against Leon Spinks, but got it back 8 months later. He announced his retirement on June 27, 1979. He left boxing with a professional record of; 56 wins and 5 loses. Now he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and still does a lot of charity work. He just might have had the greatest success in sports history. Ali wanted to everyone to know that he was the greatest, I think he did just that.