Muhammad Ali | Biography, Born, Bouts, Record, & Facts

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Where was Muhammad Ali born?

Muhammad Ali’s birth name is Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. and he was born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. His father, Cassius Clay Sr., worked as a sign painter and his mother, Odessa, as a maid. Young Cassius had a younger brother named Rudy.

The Clay family wasn’t rich, but they weren’t poor either. Southern states like Kentucky were segregated when Cassius was growing up. This meant separate facilities for blacks and whites, such as schools, restaurants, pools, and restrooms. Laws known as “Jim Crow laws” enforced this separation, making life difficult for African-Americans like Cassius.

Muhammad Ali Overview:

Occupation Boxer
Children Muhammad Ali Jr., Laila Ali, Rasheda Ali, Maryum Ali, Asaad Amin, Hana Ali, Miya Ali, Khaliah Ali, Jamillah Ali
Height 1.91 m
Citizenship United States, Bangladesh
Total fights
  • Total 61
  • Wins 56
  • Wins by KO 37
  • Losses 5
Born January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky
Died June 3, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona
Best known for World Heavyweight Champion
Nickname The Greatest

Biography of Muhammad Ali

Becoming a Boxer

When Cassius was 12, someone stole his bike. he was very upset He told police he would beat the person who stole it. The policeman, Joe Martin, turned out to be a boxing trainer. Joe tells Cassius that he better learn how to fight before he hits someone. Cassius accepted Joe’s offer and quickly learned to box.

Cassius discovered he had a real talent for boxing. He was much faster than other fighters of the same size. He landed a quick punch and was able to dodge before his opponent could react. As an amateur fighter, he has fought his 105 bouts, won 100, and lost just five. He also won several gold glove championships and was soon recognized as one of the world’s top amateur light heavyweight boxers.

The Olympics

In 1960, Cassius traveled to Rome, Italy to participate in the Olympic Games. He defeated all his opponents and won the gold medal. Upon returning home, Cassius became an American hero. He decided to turn to professional boxing.

What was Muhammad Ali’s boxing style?

Unlike many heavyweight boxers, Ali’s boxing style was based more on speed and skill than on power. Instead of absorbing punches, he tried to dodge or parry them. Ali took an orthodox stance in battle, but occasionally lowered his hands, inviting him to deliver heavy blows to his opponent.

Then the ants will fight back. He also liked to “stay and move”. So he was throwing quick punches and dancing away before his opponent could counterattack. He was an incredible athlete and only his great speed and stamina allowed him to run 15 laps.

Becoming Champion

Upon becoming a professional boxer, Ali had great success. He won several fights in a row, defeating most of his opponents by knockout. In 1964, he got his chance to fight for the title. He defeated Sonny Liston by knockout when Liston refused to come out and fight in the seventh round. Muhammad Ali was now the heavyweight champion of the world.

Trash Talk and Rhyming

Ali was also known for his trash talk. He would come up with rhymes and aphorisms to put people down and lift himself up. He talked nonsense before and during the battle. He described how his opponents were “ugly” or “stupid” and often referred to himself as “the greatest”. Perhaps his most famous quote is, “I fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

Changing His Name and Losing His Title

In 1964 Ali converted to Islam. He first changed his name from Cassius Clay to Cassius X, but later changed it to Muhammad Ali. A few years later he was drafted into the army. He said he didn’t want to join the army because of his religion. Because he refused to enlist, the boxing association did not allow him to fight for three years from 1967.

Comeback of Muhammad Ali

Ali returned to boxing in 1970. Ali fought some of his most famous bouts in the early 1970s. Some of Ali’s most famous matches include:

Battle of the Century – The “Battle of the Century” took place on March 8, 1971 in New York City between Ali (31-0) and Joe Frazier (26-0). The bout lasted 15 rounds and Ali lost to Frazier by decision. It was Ali’s first loss as a professional.
Rumble in the Jungle – “Rumble in the Jungle” took place on 30 October 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire between Ali (44-2) and George Foreman (40-0). was held at Ali defeated Foreman in eight rounds to regain the undisputed title of World Heavyweight Champion.
Manila’s Thriller – The ‘Manila’s Thriller’ was held on October 1, 1975 in Quezon City, Philippines between Ali (48-2) and Joe Fraser (32-2). Ali won by TKO after the referee stopped the fight in the 14th round.

Retirement of Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali retired from boxing in 1981 after losing a fight to Trevor Berbick. After boxing, he devoted much of his time to charity work. Since 1984 he also had Parkinson’s disease. In 2005, President George Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his philanthropic work and helping others.

Interesting Facts about Muhammad Ali

He made 22 professional heavyweight championship bouts.

He has been married four times and has nine children.

His youngest daughter, Laila Ali, was an undefeated professional boxer with a 24-0 record.

From 1960 he was coached by Angelo Dundee until 1981. Dundee also worked with Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman.

Actor Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in Ali.

He once said Sonny Liston “smelled like a bear” and that Ali would “donate him to the zoo.”

The Associated Press named him the No. 1 heavyweight of the 20th century.