Difference between revisions of "Muhammad Ali"

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[[Image:Ali.muhammad.jpg|left|thumb|300px]]
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[[File:Ali.muhammad.jpg|left]]
 
[[Image:Ibhof-logo.jpg|thumb|right|Class of 1990<br>Modern Category<br>Hall of Fame bio:[http://www.ibhof.com/pages/about/inductees/modern/ali.html click]]]
 
[[Image:Ibhof-logo.jpg|thumb|right|Class of 1990<br>Modern Category<br>Hall of Fame bio:[http://www.ibhof.com/pages/about/inductees/modern/ali.html click]]]
 
[[File:WBHF Logo.jpg|right|thumb|200px|World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee]]
 
[[File:WBHF Logo.jpg|right|thumb|200px|World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee]]
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<br clear=all>
 
<br clear=all>
 
== Amateur Achievements ==
 
== Amateur Achievements ==
[[Image:Ali_Olympics.jpg|right|thumb|<center>The 1960 Rome Olympics</center>]]
+
[[File:Ali-Shatov.jpg|thumb|300px|<center>Outpointing Gennadi Shatov in the 178-pound quarterfinals of the 1960 Olympics</center>]]
 
+
[[File:Ali-Pietrzykowski.jpg|thumb|300px|<center>Outpointing Zbigniew Pietrzykowski in the 178-pound<br>final of the 1960 Olympics</center>]]
*Six-time Kentucky State Golden Gloves Champion
+
[[File:AliOlympics2667570.jpg|thumb|300px|<center>The 178-pound medalists of the 1960 Olympics</center>]]
*1959 Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Light Heavyweight Champion vs. [[Jeff Davis]]
+
[[File:Ali82177358.jpg|thumb|300px|<center>With fellow U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist<br>[[Wilbert McClure]] & [[Eddie Crook|Eddie Crook Jr.]] </center>]]
*1959 Intercity Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion vs. [[Tony Madigan]]
+
*There have been various amateur records accredited to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali. 100-5, 127-5, 134-7, 137-7, and 99-8 are among the claims.
*1960 Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Heavyweight Champion vs. [[Jimmy Jones (of Chicago, IL)|Jimmy Jones]]
+
*Six-time Kentucky State [[Golden Gloves]] Champion
*1960 Intercity Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion vs. [[Gary Jawish]]
+
'''1955'''<br>
*1959 National AAU Light Heavyweight Champion vs. [[Johnny Powell]]
+
*James Davis L 3
*1960 National AAU Light Heavyweight Champion vs. [[Jeff Davis]]
+
*John Hampton W 3
*1960 [[Olympics|Olympic]] Light Heavyweight Gold Medalist in Rome, Italy. Olympic results:
+
*John Hampton L 3
**[[Yvon Becaus]] (Belgium) TKO 2
+
'''1957'''<br>
**[[Gennadi Schatkov]] (USSR) W3
+
*Donnie Hall W 3
**[[Tony Madigan]] (Australia) W3
+
*Donnie Hall L 3
**[[Zbigniew Pietrzykowski]] (Poland) W3
+
*Donnie Hall W 3
 +
*[[Jimmy Ellis]] W 3
 +
*Terry Hodge RSCI by 1
 +
*Donnie Hall W 3
 +
*[[Jimmy Ellis]] L 3
 +
*Donnie Hall W 3 
 +
'''1958'''<br>
 +
*Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Light Heavyweight Quarterfinalist. Results:
 +
**Alex Watt W 3
 +
**Francis Turley W 3
 +
**[[Kent Green]] KO by 2
 +
'''1959'''<br>
 +
*Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Light Heavyweight Champion. Results:
 +
**Junie Hall KO 2
 +
**Willie McMilan W 3
 +
**Cliff Murkey W 3
 +
**[[Jeff Davis]] W 3
 +
*Intercity Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion, outpointing [[Tony Madigan]].
 +
*National AAU Light Heavyweight Champion. Results:
 +
**Reginald Brown KO 3
 +
**Art Toombs W 3
 +
**Lindy Lindmoser W 3
 +
**[[Johnny Powell]] W 3
 +
*U.S. Pan American Games Trials Finalist. Results:
 +
**Leroy Boger KO 2
 +
**James Jackson W 3
 +
**[[Amos Johnson]] L 3
 +
'''1960'''
 +
*Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Heavyweight Champion. Results:
 +
**John Wilson KO 1               
 +
**Henry Harris Jr. KO 3         
 +
**[[Bill Nielsen]] W 3             
 +
**[[Al Jenkins ]] W 3                 
 +
**Jimmy Jones W 3         
 +
*Intercity Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion, stopping [[Gary Jawish]] in three rounds.
 +
*National AAU Light Heavyweight Champion. Results:
 +
**Johnny Monahue W 3
 +
**Joe Reynolds W 3
 +
**Ray Whetstone KO 2
 +
**[[Billy Joiner]] W 3
 +
**[[Jeff Davis]] KO 2
 +
*[[Percy Price]] L 3
 +
*U.S. Olympic Trials Light Heavyweight Champion. Results:
 +
**Henry Hooper KO 3
 +
**[[Fred Lewis]] W 3
 +
**Allen Hudson KO 3
 +
*[[Olympics|Olympic]] Light Heavyweight Gold Medalist in Rome, Italy. Results:
 +
**[[Yvon Becaus]] (Belgium) RSC 2
 +
**[[Gennadi Schatkov]] (USSR) W 3 (5-0)
 +
**[[Tony Madigan]] (Australia) W 3 (5-0)
 +
**[[Zbigniew Pietrzykowski]] (Poland) W 3 (5-0)
  
 
{{start box}}
 
{{start box}}
{{succession box |
+
{{succession box | title=[[United States Amateur Light Heavyweight Champions|National AAU]] <br/> Light Heavyweight Champion | before=[[Sylvester Banks]]| after= [[Bob Christopherson]]| years=1959-1960}}
  before= [[Jim Boyd]] |
+
  title= [[Olympic Games Medalists| Olympic Gold Medalist]] <br /> Light Heavyweight Champion |
+
  years= 1960 |
+
  after= [[Cosimo Pinto]]
+
}}
+
{{succession box | title=[[United States Amateur Light Heavyweight Champions|National AAU]]                     <br/> Light Heavyweight Champion | before=[[Sylvester Banks]]| after= [[Bob Christopherson]]| years=1959-1960}}
+
  
 
{{succession box |
 
{{succession box |
Line 56: Line 100:
 
   years= 1960 |
 
   years= 1960 |
 
   after= [[Ray Patterson]]
 
   after= [[Ray Patterson]]
 +
}}
 +
{{succession box |
 +
  before= [[Jim Boyd]] |
 +
  title= [[Olympic Games Medalists| Olympic Gold Medalist]] <br /> Light Heavyweight Champion |
 +
  years= 1960 |
 +
  after= [[Cosimo Pinto]]
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{end box}}
 
{{end box}}
  
 
== Professional Achievements ==
 
== Professional Achievements ==
*Three-time World Heavyweight Champion
+
*The first and only three-time lineal [[World Heavyweight Champion]].
*Won thirty-three World Heavyweight Championship fights (30 defenses)
+
*The first World Heavyweight Champion to come back from retirement and regain the title.
 +
*Won twenty-two World Heavyweight Championship fights. Ali made a total of nineteen successful title defenses, nine during his first reign and ten during his second reign.
  
 
==Acting Career==
 
==Acting Career==
*Appeared in a number of movies and television shows. IMDb credits: [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000738/]
+
*Ali has appeared in a number of movies and television shows. IMDb credits: [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000738/]
  
 
== Awards and Recognition ==
 
== Awards and Recognition ==
*Named [[Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year|''The Ring'' Fighter of the Year]] for 1963, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1978
+
[[File:SI4126.jpg|thumb|200px|<center>1974 [[Sports Illustrated|SI]] "Sportsman of the Year"</center>]]
*Named [[Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year]] for 1965, 1974 and 1975
+
*Named [[Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year|''The Ring'' "Fighter of the Year"]] for 1963, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1978.
*Proclaimed "Fighter of the Decade" (1970s) by [[The Ring Magazine|''The Ring'']]
+
*Named the [[Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year|Boxing Writers Association of America "Fighter of the Year"]] for 1965, 1974 and 1975.
*Won the Boxing Writers' Association of America [[James J. Walker Memorial Award]] for 1984  
+
*Named ''[[Sports Illustrated]]'' "Sportsman of the Year" for 1974.
*Named the greatest heavyweight of all-time by [[Ring Magazine|''The Ring'']] in 1998
+
*Named [[The Ring Magazine|''The Ring'']] [[:File:80Mar.jpg|"Fighter of the Decade"]] for the 1970s.
*Named the greatest heavyweight of the 20th century by the Associated Press
+
*Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.
*Named "Athlete of the Century" by GQ magazine
+
*Received the [[Boxing Writers Association of America]] [[James J. Walker Memorial Award]] for 1984.
*Named "Sportsman of the 20th Century" by [[Sports Illustrated]]
+
*Inducted into the [[World Boxing Hall of Fame]] in 1986.
*Named "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC
+
*Inducted into the [[Ring Magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame|''The Ring'' Boxing Hall of Fame]] in 1987.
 +
*Inducted into the [[International Boxing Hall of Fame]] in 1990.
 +
*Named "Athlete of the Century" by ''GQ'' magazine in 1998.
 +
*Named "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC in 1999.
 +
*Named "Sportsman of the 20th Century" by ''[[Sports Illustrated]]'' in 1999.
 +
*Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2005.
 
*Inducted into the [[Florida Boxing Hall of Fame]] in 2010.
 
*Inducted into the [[Florida Boxing Hall of Fame]] in 2010.
  
== Factoids ==
+
== Notes ==
*Muhammad Ali is the brother of fellow boxer [[Rahman Ali]], the father of female world champion [[Laila Ali]], and the uncle of [[Ibn Ali]].
+
*Ali is the older brother of [[Rahman Ali]], the father of female world champion [[Laila Ali]], and the uncle of [[Ibn Ali]].
*Ali's first fight with [[Joe Frazier]] indirectly led to four deaths. During the bout itself in New York, two spectators died of heart attacks. In Malaysia, Abdul Ghani Bachik was reported to have leaped up from his chair while watching the fight on paid television and shouted, "My God, Cassius Clay has fallen!" He then suffered a fatal heart attack. In Milan, Italy, Erio Borghisiani was found dead in front of his television just hours after viewing the fight on paid television.
+
*When Ali was 12-years-old, he and a friend went to the Columbia Auditorium to partake in the free hot dogs and popcorn available for visitors of the Louisville Home Show. When the boys were done eating, they went back to get their bicycles only to discover that Ali's had been stolen. Furious, Ali went to the basement of the Columbia Auditorium to report the crime to police officer Joe Martin, who was also a boxing coach at the Columbia Gym. When Ali said he wanted to beat up the person who stole his bike, Martin told him that he should probably learn to fight first. A few days later, Ali began boxing training at Martin's gym.
 +
*Ali also trained with Fred Stoner, an African-American trainer working at the Grace Community Center in Louisville. After he became World Heavyweight Champion, Ali said Stoner "taught me all I know."
 +
*Ali graduated from Central High School in Louisville with a D- average, ranking 376 in a class of 391.
 +
*After Ali had a rough flight going to San Francisco for the 1960 Olympic trials, he became afraid to fly. He visited an army surplus store and purchased a parachute before he flew to Rome for the Olympics, and wore the parachute throughout the flight to Rome.
 +
*In his 1975 autobiography, [[Muhammad Ali: The Greatest, My Own Story|''The Greatest, My Own Story'']], Ali claimed that he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after he was refused service at a "whites only" restaurant shortly after he returned to Louisville from the Olympics in Rome. Some people, including biographers [[Thomas Hauser]] and David Remnick, have concluded that the story is untrue — that Ali misplaced the medal or it was otherwise lost. Ali was given a replacement medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
 +
*Ali was one of four World Heavyweight Champions from Louisville, Kentucky. The other three are [[Marvin Hart]], [[Jimmy Ellis]], and [[Greg Page]].
 +
*Shortly after winning the World Heavyweight Championship from [[Sonny Liston]] on [[Sonny Liston vs. Cassius Clay (1st meeting)|February 25, 1964]], Ali announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and changed his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay to Muhammad Ali. He was given the name by Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. In Arabic, Muhammad means "worthy of all praises" and Ali means "most high."
 +
*On September 14, 1964, Ali was stripped of the [[WBA]] title for signing to fight [[Sonny Liston]] in a rematch. The contract for their first fight included a return clause, which the WBA did not allow.
 +
*Ali's rematch with Sonny Liston was originally scheduled for November 16, 1964 in Boston, Massachusetts, but the fight was postponed after Ali suffered a hernia and had to have surgery.
 +
*Ali's draft status was 1-Y, physically fit but exempt from the draft because he scored lower than the minimum on Army intelligence tests. In 1966, the Army lowered its intelligence requirements and Ali was reclassified as 1-A, which made him eligible for the draft. Ali appealed for an exemption, claiming that he was a conscientious objector based on his religious beliefs. After three appeals were denied, Ali was called for induction on April 28, 1967. He refused to be inducted and was convicted of draft evasion on June 20, 1967. Ali was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000. He was also stripped of his title by the [[WBA]] and [[NYSAC]]. He appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in his favor on June 28, 1971.
 +
*While he was appealing his conviction, Ali was free on a $5,000 bond. He tried to get a fight but was unable get a boxing license in any state. On February 3, 1970, Ali announced his retirement. He later changed his mind and said he wanted to fight again. 
 +
*With the help of Georgia State Senator Leroy Johnson, Ali was able to get a license to fight [[Jerry Quarry]] in Atlanta, Georgia on [[Muhammad Ali vs. Jerry Quarry (1st meeting)|October 26, 1970]]. Johnson was also involved in the promotion of the fight.
 +
*On September 14, 1970, a federal judge ruled that the New York State Athletic Commission's ban on Ali "constituted an arbitrary and unreasonable departure from the commission's established practice of granting licenses to applicants convicted of crimes or military offenses." Ali was then granted a license to fight [[Oscar Bonavena]] in New York on [[Muhammad Ali vs. Oscar Natalio Bonavena|December 7, 1970]].
 +
*Ali's first fight with [[Joe Frazier]] on [[Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali (1st meeting)|March 8, 1971]] indirectly led to four deaths:
 +
**Two spectators at [[Madison Square Garden]] died of heart attacks during the fight.  
 +
**Erio Borghisiani was found dead in front of his television just hours after viewing the fight on paid television in Milan, Italy.
 +
**In Malaysia, Abdul Ghani Bachik was reported to have leaped up from his chair while watching the fight on paid television and shouted, "My God, Cassius Clay has fallen!" He then suffered a fatal heart attack.
 +
*Ali's fight with [[Chuck Wepner]] on [[Muhammad Ali vs. Chuck Wepner|March 24, 1975]] inspired [[Sylvester Stallone]] to write the film [[Rocky (Film)|''Rocky'']].
 +
*Two Ali opponents died from injuries they suffered in the ring: [[Alejandro Lavorante]] died after getting knocked out by John Riggins in 1962, and [[Sonny Banks (Lucien Banks)|Sonny Banks]] died after getting knocked out by [[Leotis Martin]] in 1965.
 +
*Three fighters retired after being knocked out by Ali: [[Donnie Fleeman]], [[LaMar Clark]], and [[Floyd Patterson]].
 +
*Ali was the last fighter to defeat both [[Archie Moore]] and [[George Chuvalo]].
 +
*In September 1984, after completing four days of tests at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome. 
 +
 
 +
== Historical Rankings ==
 +
[[File:Ali157078783.jpg|right|thumb|325px|<center>Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) in 1962</center>]]
 +
*A ''[[World Boxing]]'' readers poll ranked Ali as the 5th greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1974.
 +
*[[Ring Magazine|''The Ring'']] ranked Ali as the 9th [[Division-By-Division - The Greatest Fighters of All-Time|greatest heavyweight of all-time]] in the [[:Ring Magazine: March 1975|March 1975]] issue.
 +
*John Durant, author of ''The Heavyweight Champions'', ranked Ali as the 4th greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1976.
 +
*[[Bill Brennan]], former [[WBA]] president, ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1978.
 +
*A ''[[Big Book of Boxing]]'' readers poll ranked Ali as the 2nd greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1978.
 +
*Historian [[Gilbert Odd]] ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1985.
 +
*Historian [[Bert Sugar]] ranked Ali as the 3rd greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1991.
 +
*[[Nigel Collins]], former editor-in-chief of ''The Ring'', ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1997.
 +
*[[Herbert Goldman]], former  editor-in-chief of ''[[Boxing Illustrated]]'', ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1997.
 +
*[[Steve Farhood]], ''[[Showtime]]'' commentator and former editor-in-chief of ''The Ring'', ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1997.
 +
*[[Ring Magazine|''The Ring'']] ranked Ali as the [[Division-By-Division - The Greatest Fighters of All-Time|greatest heavyweight of all-time]] in the [[:Ring Magazine: Holiday 1998|1998 Holiday]] issue.
 +
*A five-member panel for the Associated Press ranked Ali as the best heavyweight and second best pound-for-pound fighter of the 20th century in 1999.
 +
*ESPN ranked Ali as the second greatest boxer of all-time in 2007.
  
== Legacy ==
+
== Quotes ==
A 1974 ''World Boxing'' reader poll ranked Ali as the 5th greatest heavyweight in history, historian Nat Loubet ranked him as the 9th greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1975, and John Durant, author of ''The Heavyweight Champions'', ranked him as the 4th greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1976. BBC Sports, former WBA president Bill Brennan, ''The Ring'' editor-in-chief Nigel Collins, former ''Boxing Illustrated'' editor-in-chief Herbert G. Goldman, ''Showtime'' commentator Steve Farhood, and historian Arthur Harris all consider Ali to be the greatest heavyweight of all-time.
+
*"It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am."
 +
*"If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize."
 +
*"I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark."
 +
*"Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the Bureau of Wild Life."
 +
*"Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up."
 +
*"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
 +
*"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
  
==Reference sources==
+
==Reference Sources==
 
*[http://www.ali.com/ Official website]
 
*[http://www.ali.com/ Official website]
 +
*''[http://www.doghouseboxing.com/Ken/Hissner031810.htm Cassius Clay AKA Muhammad Ali's Amateur Boxing Record in Question?]'' / Ken Hissner (2010)
 
*''[http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1659947 Ali, the fighting prophet]'' / Gilbert Odd with a foreword by Henry Cooper (1975, ISBN 0720708451)
 
*''[http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn1659947 Ali, the fighting prophet]'' / Gilbert Odd with a foreword by Henry Cooper (1975, ISBN 0720708451)
 
*''[http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2057974 Black is best: the riddle of Cassius Clay]'' / Jack Olsen (1967)
 
*''[http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2057974 Black is best: the riddle of Cassius Clay]'' / Jack Olsen (1967)
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[[Category:World Heavyweight Champions]]
 
[[Category:World Heavyweight Champions]]
 
[[Category:American World Champions]]
 
[[Category:American World Champions]]
 +
[[Category:The Ring Magazine Champions]]
 
[[Category:IBHOF Members]]
 
[[Category:IBHOF Members]]
 
[[Category:World Boxing Hall of Fame Members]]
 
[[Category:World Boxing Hall of Fame Members]]

Revision as of 22:20, 14 July 2013

Ali.muhammad.jpg
Class of 1990
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Muhammad Ali
Alias: The Greatest
Birth Name: Cassius Marcellus Clay
Born: 1942-01-17
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6′ 3″   /   191cm
Reach: 78″   /   198cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainer: Angelo Dundee
Manager: Herbert Muhammad
Muhammad Ali Gallery

Amateur Achievements

Outpointing Gennadi Shatov in the 178-pound quarterfinals of the 1960 Olympics
Outpointing Zbigniew Pietrzykowski in the 178-pound
final of the 1960 Olympics
The 178-pound medalists of the 1960 Olympics
With fellow U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist
Wilbert McClure & Eddie Crook Jr.
  • There have been various amateur records accredited to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali. 100-5, 127-5, 134-7, 137-7, and 99-8 are among the claims.
  • Six-time Kentucky State Golden Gloves Champion

1955

  • James Davis L 3
  • John Hampton W 3
  • John Hampton L 3

1957

  • Donnie Hall W 3
  • Donnie Hall L 3
  • Donnie Hall W 3
  • Jimmy Ellis W 3
  • Terry Hodge RSCI by 1
  • Donnie Hall W 3
  • Jimmy Ellis L 3
  • Donnie Hall W 3

1958

  • Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Light Heavyweight Quarterfinalist. Results:
    • Alex Watt W 3
    • Francis Turley W 3
    • Kent Green KO by 2

1959

  • Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions Light Heavyweight Champion. Results:
    • Junie Hall KO 2
    • Willie McMilan W 3
    • Cliff Murkey W 3
    • Jeff Davis W 3
  • Intercity Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion, outpointing Tony Madigan.
  • National AAU Light Heavyweight Champion. Results:
    • Reginald Brown KO 3
    • Art Toombs W 3
    • Lindy Lindmoser W 3
    • Johnny Powell W 3
  • U.S. Pan American Games Trials Finalist. Results:

1960


Preceded by:
Sylvester Banks
National AAU
Light Heavyweight Champion

1959-1960
Succeeded by:
Bob Christopherson
Preceded by:
Kent Green
Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Light Heavyweight Champion

1959
Succeeded by:
Jeff Davis
Preceded by:
James Hargett
Intercity Golden Gloves
Light Heavyweight Champion

1959
Succeeded by:
Jeff Davis
Preceded by:
Jimmy Jones
Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions
Heavyweight Champion

1960
Succeeded by:
Al Jenkins
Preceded by:
Sylvester Banks
Intercity Golden Gloves
Heavyweight Champion

1960
Succeeded by:
Ray Patterson
Preceded by:
Jim Boyd
Olympic Gold Medalist
Light Heavyweight Champion

1960
Succeeded by:
Cosimo Pinto


Professional Achievements

  • The first and only three-time lineal World Heavyweight Champion.
  • The first World Heavyweight Champion to come back from retirement and regain the title.
  • Won twenty-two World Heavyweight Championship fights. Ali made a total of nineteen successful title defenses, nine during his first reign and ten during his second reign.

Acting Career

  • Ali has appeared in a number of movies and television shows. IMDb credits: [1]

Awards and Recognition

1974 SI "Sportsman of the Year"

Notes

  • Ali is the older brother of Rahman Ali, the father of female world champion Laila Ali, and the uncle of Ibn Ali.
  • When Ali was 12-years-old, he and a friend went to the Columbia Auditorium to partake in the free hot dogs and popcorn available for visitors of the Louisville Home Show. When the boys were done eating, they went back to get their bicycles only to discover that Ali's had been stolen. Furious, Ali went to the basement of the Columbia Auditorium to report the crime to police officer Joe Martin, who was also a boxing coach at the Columbia Gym. When Ali said he wanted to beat up the person who stole his bike, Martin told him that he should probably learn to fight first. A few days later, Ali began boxing training at Martin's gym.
  • Ali also trained with Fred Stoner, an African-American trainer working at the Grace Community Center in Louisville. After he became World Heavyweight Champion, Ali said Stoner "taught me all I know."
  • Ali graduated from Central High School in Louisville with a D- average, ranking 376 in a class of 391.
  • After Ali had a rough flight going to San Francisco for the 1960 Olympic trials, he became afraid to fly. He visited an army surplus store and purchased a parachute before he flew to Rome for the Olympics, and wore the parachute throughout the flight to Rome.
  • In his 1975 autobiography, The Greatest, My Own Story, Ali claimed that he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after he was refused service at a "whites only" restaurant shortly after he returned to Louisville from the Olympics in Rome. Some people, including biographers Thomas Hauser and David Remnick, have concluded that the story is untrue — that Ali misplaced the medal or it was otherwise lost. Ali was given a replacement medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Ali was one of four World Heavyweight Champions from Louisville, Kentucky. The other three are Marvin Hart, Jimmy Ellis, and Greg Page.
  • Shortly after winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964, Ali announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and changed his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay to Muhammad Ali. He was given the name by Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. In Arabic, Muhammad means "worthy of all praises" and Ali means "most high."
  • On September 14, 1964, Ali was stripped of the WBA title for signing to fight Sonny Liston in a rematch. The contract for their first fight included a return clause, which the WBA did not allow.
  • Ali's rematch with Sonny Liston was originally scheduled for November 16, 1964 in Boston, Massachusetts, but the fight was postponed after Ali suffered a hernia and had to have surgery.
  • Ali's draft status was 1-Y, physically fit but exempt from the draft because he scored lower than the minimum on Army intelligence tests. In 1966, the Army lowered its intelligence requirements and Ali was reclassified as 1-A, which made him eligible for the draft. Ali appealed for an exemption, claiming that he was a conscientious objector based on his religious beliefs. After three appeals were denied, Ali was called for induction on April 28, 1967. He refused to be inducted and was convicted of draft evasion on June 20, 1967. Ali was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000. He was also stripped of his title by the WBA and NYSAC. He appealed his conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in his favor on June 28, 1971.
  • While he was appealing his conviction, Ali was free on a $5,000 bond. He tried to get a fight but was unable get a boxing license in any state. On February 3, 1970, Ali announced his retirement. He later changed his mind and said he wanted to fight again.
  • With the help of Georgia State Senator Leroy Johnson, Ali was able to get a license to fight Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, Georgia on October 26, 1970. Johnson was also involved in the promotion of the fight.
  • On September 14, 1970, a federal judge ruled that the New York State Athletic Commission's ban on Ali "constituted an arbitrary and unreasonable departure from the commission's established practice of granting licenses to applicants convicted of crimes or military offenses." Ali was then granted a license to fight Oscar Bonavena in New York on December 7, 1970.
  • Ali's first fight with Joe Frazier on March 8, 1971 indirectly led to four deaths:
    • Two spectators at Madison Square Garden died of heart attacks during the fight.
    • Erio Borghisiani was found dead in front of his television just hours after viewing the fight on paid television in Milan, Italy.
    • In Malaysia, Abdul Ghani Bachik was reported to have leaped up from his chair while watching the fight on paid television and shouted, "My God, Cassius Clay has fallen!" He then suffered a fatal heart attack.
  • Ali's fight with Chuck Wepner on March 24, 1975 inspired Sylvester Stallone to write the film Rocky.
  • Two Ali opponents died from injuries they suffered in the ring: Alejandro Lavorante died after getting knocked out by John Riggins in 1962, and Sonny Banks died after getting knocked out by Leotis Martin in 1965.
  • Three fighters retired after being knocked out by Ali: Donnie Fleeman, LaMar Clark, and Floyd Patterson.
  • Ali was the last fighter to defeat both Archie Moore and George Chuvalo.
  • In September 1984, after completing four days of tests at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome.

Historical Rankings

Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) in 1962
  • A World Boxing readers poll ranked Ali as the 5th greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1974.
  • The Ring ranked Ali as the 9th greatest heavyweight of all-time in the March 1975 issue.
  • John Durant, author of The Heavyweight Champions, ranked Ali as the 4th greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1976.
  • Bill Brennan, former WBA president, ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1978.
  • A Big Book of Boxing readers poll ranked Ali as the 2nd greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1978.
  • Historian Gilbert Odd ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1985.
  • Historian Bert Sugar ranked Ali as the 3rd greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1991.
  • Nigel Collins, former editor-in-chief of The Ring, ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1997.
  • Herbert Goldman, former editor-in-chief of Boxing Illustrated, ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1997.
  • Steve Farhood, Showtime commentator and former editor-in-chief of The Ring, ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in 1997.
  • The Ring ranked Ali as the greatest heavyweight of all-time in the 1998 Holiday issue.
  • A five-member panel for the Associated Press ranked Ali as the best heavyweight and second best pound-for-pound fighter of the 20th century in 1999.
  • ESPN ranked Ali as the second greatest boxer of all-time in 2007.

Quotes

  • "It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am."
  • "If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize."
  • "I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark."
  • "Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the Bureau of Wild Life."
  • "Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up."
  • "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
  • "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."

Reference Sources



Preceded by:
Sonny Liston
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1964 Feb 25 – 1964 Sep 14
Stripped
Succeeded by:
Ernie Terrell
Preceded by:
Sonny Liston
WBC Heavyweight Champion
1964 Feb 25 – 1970 Feb 3
Retired
Succeeded by:
Joe Frazier
Preceded by:
Sonny Liston
NYSAC World Heavyweight Champion
1964 Feb 25 – 1967 May 9
Stripped
Succeeded by:
Joe Frazier
Preceded by:
Ernie Terrell
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1967 Feb 6 – 1967 May 9
Stripped
Succeeded by:
Jimmy Ellis
Preceded by:
George Foreman
WBA Heavyweight Champion
WBC Heavyweight Champion

1974 Oct 30 – 1978 Feb 15
Succeeded by:
Leon Spinks
Preceded by:
Leon Spinks
WBA Heavyweight Champion
1978 Sep 15 – 1979 Sep 6
Retired
Succeeded by:
John Tate