Introduction:Muhammad Ali is widely regarded as the greatest boxer of all time. Often controversial but there is also some wisdom behind the man.
He was born Cassius Clay Jr in January of 1942 that makes him seventy years old as of this writing. His professional record is 56 wins and 5 losses with 37 wins by way of knockout. By the way...his amateur record is listed as 100 wins and 5 losses.
Cassius Clay was a gold medal winner in the Light Heavyweight Division at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The are several stories concerning his gold medal and it is not known exactly what happened to it; Ali did receive a replacement medal at the 1996 Games in Atlanta...where he also lit the torch. He most recently took part in the 2012 games in London carryng the Olympic flag with some help.
Ali joined the Nation of Islam in 1964; they initially did not want him to join because they regarded boxing as brutal. They relented after he won the Heavyweight Championship and he subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975. Differences in belief led to the breakup of his first marriage in 1966...the mariage lasted less than two years.
Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome in 1984. Parkinson's is common to head trauma and is likely attributed to his boxing career; Ali does not accept that. He says there are many with Parkinson's who do not box.
Ali was drafted for the Vietnam war and refused to serve as a conscietous objector. He was arrested and found guilty after just 21 minutes of deliberation. With the conviction, the state of New York stripped him of his boxing license and his Title. He would eventually take his case all the way to the Supreme Court where his conviction was overturned. He lost four years of his career to the ordeal.
On his name change after the conversion to Islam...Ali stated that "Muhammad means praiseworthy and Ali means most high. Clay means dirt." He also says that he didn't feel that he won any of the fights that they said he lost and that he didn't feel that he lost any of the fights that he got credit for winning.
select one here...