Muhammad Ali Essay

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Throughout history there have been many influential people who have lived in this country. Some were politicians, some were actors, and some were even athletes. One such man was a gifted boxer named Muhammad Ali. He made his mark as an amateur, then as a professional. "The Greatest" was the self-proclaimed nickname of Ali, but so many people agreed that it stuck. He went through trials and tribulations in his life, which make him a historic icon. Muhammad Ali is known for being "The Greatest" boxer of all time, but unlike other athletes he is remembered for his out of the ring actions as well as his athletic accomplishments. Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Mercellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. Cassius …show more content…

In 1960 he decided it was time to take his skills to the Olympics. In order to do so he had to get a job to pay for all the expenses that the Olympics entail. He worked as a "houseboy" for Billy Reynolds, the heir to the Reynolds aluminum foil fortune (Conklin 26-27). The eighteen-year-old was now six feet, two inches tall and weighed 178 pounds of pure muscle. Clay easily beat the European champion, Zbigniew Pietrzykowski, to win the light-heavyweight gold medal. All that was left was to go pro. On October 29, 1960 Cassius Clay made his a professional debut with a six round unanimous decision over Tunney Hunsaker. Cassius made all arrangements for the fight and he even trained himself. After having trouble with a less talented Hunsaker, Ali decided to hire a trainer. He went through many trainers until he found Angelo Dundee. Clay won his first world heavyweight championship on February 25, 1964. He beat Sonny Liston in six rounds. Liston refused to leave his corner for the seventh round. Almost directly after the fight, Clay told the world that he was now to be called Cassius X because of his affiliation with Islam. A month later he announced his name was to be Muhammad Ali which was the title given to him by the head of the Black Muslims, Elijah Muhammad. The name Muhammad Ali means "worthy of praise most high." Ali was then drafted into the Army and to fight in the Vietnam War. However, he refused to join the army

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