Muhammad Ali grew up in racial segregation, he was once denied a drink of Water because of his color.
At twelve years old, Mohammed Ali was introduced into boxing by a Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, who encountered the 12-year-old fuming over a thief taking his bicycle. He was quoted as saying he was going to “whup” the thief so, the police suggested he learned boxing first and for the last four years of his debut career, Ali was trained by cut-man Chuck Bodak.
Ali made his amateur boxing debut in 1954. He won six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union national title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.
Ali’s amateur record was 100 wins with five losses. Ali claimed in his 1975 autobiography that shortly after his return from the Rome Olympics he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River after he and a friend were refused service at a “whites-only” restaurant and fought with a white gang…. Ali received a replacement medal at a basketball intermission during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he lit the torch to start the games.
At 22 Muhammad Ali converted to Islam and changed his slave name from Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr to Muhammad Ali. Ali further won various matches until 1966 when he refused to fight at the Vietnam war for the US military and was denied his licence and passport. As a result, he did not fight from March 1967 to October 1970—from ages 25 to almost 29.
In 1972 Ali won a total of six matches losing only once and then in 1973 again he was defeated by Ken Norton making it the second loss of his career. Ali continued to make incredible wins in other matches in later years.
Mohammed Ali announced his retirement later in 1979 but made a comeback soon after to face Larry Holmes for the WBC belt an attempt to win the heavyweight championship an unprecedented fourth time but it was unsuccessful.
In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s which led to the gradual decline in his health although he was still very much active in the early years of the millennium, in February 2013 Ali’s brother announced that he could no longer talk and could be dead within days but three days later he was reported to be fine.
On December 2014, Mohammed Ali was hospitalized for a mild case of pneumonia and on January 2015 again he was hospitalized for infection of the urinary tract finally on the 2nd of June 2016 Ali was hospitalized for respiratory illness, he died the next day aged 74 from septic shock.
Mohammed Ali is undeniably the Greatest of all time.
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