10 Facts you need to know about Muhammad Ali “The Greatest”

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Muhammad Ali, the World’s favorite Professional Boxer has passed away on 3rd of June. After fighting for 32 years constantly with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali finally found peace at the age of 74 (1942-2016). Today as the Legend falls, lets know him in 10 simple facts below.

Well, Muhammad Ali is not an Indian guys.

Muhammad Ali

By the name or by the physical appearance, many of us think he might be an Indian and most probably a Muslim. But, he is not. He is born in Louisville, Kentucky in United States. So, everybody is talking about him not out of any patriotism but out of love for his sport and his humanity.

Muhammad Ali real name is Cassius Clay.

Muhammad Ali Childhood

Yes, he is one of those who changed their names. His real name was Cassius Marcellus Clay born to Cassius Marcellus Clay and Odessa Grady Clay. After joining Nation of Islam, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali – “The child of God”. Also know the importance of Black Holes.

He won at Olympics and threw the Gold Medal into River.

Muhammad Ali Gold Medal

Started at the age of 12, inspired by words said by a local cop, when he was hitting his bicycle thief, Muhammad Ali made his debut boxing match in 1954. After winning a series of local and national awards, he won the Light Heavyweight Gold Medal in 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. See what is interesting about India’s GPS NavIC

But after his return to home, when he was not allowed to be served at a restaurant because of his color, he ran out in rage and threw his Gold Medal into Ohio River. Obviously, no point in hanging gold medals in the house, when you were not treated as human. But,some claim this is just a made up story. Anyways, Ali was given a replacement medal later in Olympics.

Ali won the Heavy Weight Championship Title Three Times.

Muhammad Ali Championship
The Beatless with Ali

Ali won his first World Heavy Weight Championship when he was 22 years making him the then youngest champion in a fight against Liston in 1964. And then in 1974, the famous Rumble in the Jungle, he defeated Foreman with the more-famous Rope-the-dope trick and won the World Championship for second time. And in 1978, he lost his championship to Leon Spinks and in the same year, in a rematch won it from him, making him the one and only three-time Heavy Weight Championship Winner.

He called himself “The Greatest” and called Liston as “the Ugly Bear”

Muhammad Ali Greatest
A selection of photographs of former three time world boxing champion MUHAMMAD ALI.The photographs were taken during the 1970’s and early 1980’s

In 1964, Sonny Liston was holding the Title and Ali got to fight with him. Back then Ali was just a young man of 22 where Liston was a experienced guy with criminal past records. Just before the fight, Ali made comments to media like “Liston is a Ugly Bear. After I beat him, I will donate him to zoo” – the trick of infuriating and deviating the opponent.

Ali hit Liston down and shouted “I am the Greatest. I shook up the World. I am the pretty”.  And in his last days, he said “I never thought of the possibility of failing, only of the fame and glory I was going to get when I won, I could see it. I could almost feel it. When I proclaimed that I was the greatest of all time, I believed in myself, and I still do.” Read our useful guide on How to face and win that Interview?

Mohammad Ali, the Resistance.

Muhammad Ali workouts

Soon after he won his Title for the first time, Ali was asked to join the U.S. army for the Vietnam War. And Mohammad Ali just said ‘No Way’. And he stood on it. The after affects, he got stripped off his Title, sentenced to jail for 5 years. No passport, no boxing for almost 4 years. (when he was 25-29, the best age for any career). But he stood right there on the ground.

Between the Army forcing him and the War. He said “I have no quarrel with my brothers. My conscience wont let me kill innocent people for the political reasons. Those people never called me nigger. They didn’t kill my parents. They didn’t take my nationality away. You did this. And why should I kill them, the poor people?”. The world came to know the real hero beneath the gloves. He is one of the few people who sought the true meaning of Religion and God – people.

Ali has got a lot of Nicknames.

If boxing is one thing, his stand against the War made him really “The Greatest”. He made speeches at public places, colleges, political parties and everywhere gained the people. And not only that, some call him “The People’s Champion” and some others call him “The King of Trash Talk” – for his ability to distract opponents with making public and ring statements. For his love of humanity and fight against racism and war, some called him “The Louisville Lip”. Not only him, people even started nicknaming the matches if he is boxing in it – “The Rumble in the Jungle”, “Thrilla in Manilla”, “Fight of the Century” and so on.

Ali Divorced three wives. Had 9 Kids.

Muhammad Ali kids

Well, Ali is romantic too. His first wife, a cocktail waitress, Sonji Roi left him because she had issues with Muslim’s Dressing style (Whaaat!). The second wife, Belinda Boyd who had 4 children with Ali broke the marriage because he started an affair with Veronica Porsche, a model and actress. The third wife, Veronica Porsche, obvio, had 2 children with him : Hana and Laila. Laila Ali also became a boxing champion after her father. Finally Ali settled with Yolanda Williams, the fourth wife, an old friend from Louisville. They adapted a kid, Asaad Amin. As if not enough, he had two other daughters, Miya and Khaliah – out of extramarital relationships. Way to go Ali.

Not just a boxer but a Writer too!

Muhammad Ali

That famous quote “Float like a Butterfly. Sting like a Bee” is enough to say there is other side to Muhammad Ali. And all his speeches and protesting talks gave him more freedom to express his thoughts, thanks to his fame. Ali once said “If I wasn’t a boxer, I wouldn’t be famous and If I wasn’t famous, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now.” And he wrote many best-selling books including the best, The Greatest: My Own Story and The Soul of a Butterfly.

He too had temper issues, but all for good.

Muhammad Ali

He was like Virat Kohli. Totally out of control in and out of the ring. Making bold statements and bold moves like changing religion, changing name, having extramarital affairs, standing against the war and nevertheless Trash Talk in the rings. But the only difference which made him a Legend is, he stood for everything he said. He proved himself every time. He constantly kept both the hype and the success with him. Even though he had downfall, he sensed his time and retired at the right time. He is one of those persons, who loves humanity above all and who is not afraid to talk the truth. In 2005, President George W. Bush honored Ali with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And Obama said he has a pair of Ali’s gloves on display in his private room of the Oval Office, just underneath a photograph of the legend.

Muhammad Ali

In one sentence, Muhammad Ali life is more or less like the Forrest Gump’s. RIP one of “The Greatest Human Being”.

Its not who you are, but what you do that defines you.

All Images Source: Google

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