10 interesting facts about Muhammad Ali

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10 interesting facts about Muhammad Ali

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. Muhammad Ali, or as he is known, is not only regarded as the greatest boxer of all time but also as one of the greatest athletes in history. This sports legend, “fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, is remembered not only for his brilliant performance in the boxing ring, but also for his uncompromising stance on many political issues, especially human rights. However, there are also interesting details in Ali’s life that not many people know enough about. Here are 10 interesting facts about Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, that you may not have heard of.

1. Muhammad Ali’s pre-Islamic name, Cassius Marcellus Clay, is derived from the American human rights activist, Cassius Marcellus Clay.

Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942 in Kentucky, United States, to parents Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. Born by name. This man, who would later become one of the greatest athletes in history, was named after Cassius Marcellus Clay, a white planter and abolitionist.

However, the legendary athlete would adopt a completely different name in the following years. Marcellus Clay Jr. announced in 1964, at the age of 22, that he had converted to Islam. In the same year, Muhammad Ali was shot by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of what is also known as the Nation of Islam in the United States.

2. His boxing career began with a steal

When Muhammad Ali was just 12 years old, his bike was stolen and he experienced an unpleasant robbery. One of the police officers Ali sought help from was also a boxing coach, who recommended this young boy who was a victim of theft to start boxing.

The career of the greatest boxer in history began with this piece of advice. Muhammad Ali, who joined a gym and began learning boxing soon after, won his first career match 6 weeks later. Only 6 years later, he won an Olympic medal …

3 – He won an Olympic gold medal in 1960 at the age of 18

The 1960 Rome Olympics went down in history as the sporting organization where legend Muhammad Ali was born. This 18-year-old player managed to beat all his opponents and become the gold medalist. But this medal was more than just a milestone in Muhammad Ali’s sports career.

After returning to his country as an Olympic champion, Muhammad Ali was subjected to a racist attack when he wanted to eat in a restaurant and was not allowed into the restaurant just because he was black. After this event, he declared that he had thrown the Olympic medal into the Ohio River, and in the following years became one of the symbols of the struggle against racism.

4. He refused to fight in Vietnam

In 1967, for various reasons, he refused to join the US Army and fight in Vietnam. It was risky to make such a brilliant decision for a world-famous athlete, but Muhammad Ali did not back down, just like in boxing rings.

However, Ali’s anti-war stance caused him to face many problems. He was stripped of his title, had his boxing license revoked, was charged with desertion, and was fined and imprisoned. However, upon his objection, his boxing license was restored in 1970. All of his convictions were overturned in 1971.

5. Muhammad Ali was a poet, athlete, and activist.

Mohamed Ali

He often wrote poems mocking his opponents, whom he beat in the ring. Nor did he hesitate to utter his verses or rhymes and sarcastic words that demoralized his opponents in the ring.

6. He won 56 of 61 fights in his professional career

Mohamed Ali

Moreover, many of these opponents were shown as the best boxers of their time. But they had the misfortune to live at the same time as Muhammad Ali! Muhammad Ali, who managed to win 56 of 61 matches in his career, left 37 matches by eliminating his opponents.

7. He suffered his first defeat in the “Battle of the Century”

Mohamed Ali

Back in the ring after regaining his boxing license, Muhammad Ali was preparing to face his biggest rival, Joe Frazier, in his first match. Because of the fierce rivalry between the two, this match was called the “Fight of the Century”, and the match was eagerly awaited not only in the United States, but all over the world.

Finally, the two big boxing names came face to face on March 8, 1971. Joe Frazier was the victor from the ring. With this victory, Frazier retained his championship title, while Ali tasted his first defeat in his professional career.

8. Known as the “Rumble in the Jungle,” the match is known as one of the most impressive sporting events in history.

In 1974, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which found a brilliant idea for the advancement of the country, wanted to host a match of the best boxers of that period. Muhammad Ali and George Foreman faced off in the Congo in 1974. The welcome was marketed as the Rumble in the Jungle…

Muhammad Ali won the match. Thus, he was able to regain the title of heavyweight boxing champion, which he lost 7 years ago. But there was another element that made this match one of the best great matches in history. Instead of fighting aggressively with his opponent, Ali passively waited throughout the match, causing him to tire and drop his opponent at the most opportune moment…

9. He was the first boxer to win three world heavyweight titles

Mohamed Ali

Muhammad Ali was the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964, 1974 and 1978. No boxer had such success before …

10. He developed Parkinson’s disease at the age of 42

Mohamed Ali

The greatest boxer in history retired in 1979. However, he returned to the ring only a year later. But this comeback story did not last long. A year later, Ali decided to retire again. Having said goodbye to the Ring once and for all at the age of 39, it became difficult for Muhammad Ali to speak and move after only a few years.

This amazing athlete was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 42. However, the disease did not prevent Muhammad Ali from participating in various humanitarian organizations. Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3, 2016, at the age of 74.

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