World Heavyweight Champion - Muhammad Ali

World Heavyweight Champion - Muhammad Ali

  • Submitted By: Hekkaz
  • Date Submitted: 09/18/2008 4:54 AM
  • Category: Biographies
  • Words: 413
  • Page: 2
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Ali, Muhammad (1942- ), American boxer, who in 1978 became the first boxer to win the world heavyweight championship title three times. Originally named Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., he was born in Louisville, Kentucky. After winning the light heavyweight title at the 1960 Olympic Games, he turned professional, and in 1964 proved his claim of being The Greatest; after only 20 professional fights he upset Sonny Liston and became world heavyweight champion. In the same year, after joining the Black Muslims, he assumed the name Muhammad Ali. In 1967 he refused to be inducted into the United States Army on the grounds that he was a Black Muslim minister and therefore a conscientious objector. He was subsequently convicted of draft evasion, and the ruling bodies of boxing declared his title vacant. Ali returned to the ring in 1970 and won two fights, but he lost a championship bout to Joe Frazier in March 1971. Later that year the US Supreme Court overturned Ali's conviction.

Ali made a comeback in 1974 by defeating Frazier in January, and he regained the heavyweight title by knocking out the champion, George Foreman, in October in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (then called Zaïre). The fight and the weeks leading up to it were memorialized on film in the documentary When We Were Kings, which was released in 1996. In February 1978 Ali lost the title to Leon Spinks in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, he regained the title, beating Spinks in a 15-round bout in New Orleans, Louisiana, in September 1978. He retired in 1979 but came out of retirement the following year to challenge Larry Holmes for the World Boxing Council heavyweight championship. Ali lost the match to the defender.

Throughout his career, Ali earned a reputation as an aggressive fighter with a colourful personality. His skills supported his claim that he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. Outside the ring, Ali savoured the media limelight, challenging and taunting...

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