August 19, 2022
Muhammad Ali (originally Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., January 17, 1942 Louisville, Kentucky, United States – June 3, 2016 Scottsdale, Arizona) was an American heavyweight boxer. Ali was a three-time world professional heavyweight champion who is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers and greatest athletes of all time. He adopted the name Muhammad Ali in 1964 after converting to Islam, but before that he also used the name Cassius X. As an amateur boxer, Ali won gold in the heavyweight division at the Rome Olympics in 1960. After turning professional, he held the world heavyweight championship three times. He won his first world title by TKO over Sonny Liston in 1964. However, he lost the title in 1967 for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Ali also lost his boxing license, which is why he didn't fight again until 1970. After his return, he won back the world championship from George Foreman in 1974. He became the first world heavyweight champion since Floyd Patterson to win back the championship he once lost. In 1978, he lost his championship to Leon Spinks, but won it back again in a rematch. After this, he announced that he would stop boxing. However, Ali made a comeback and lost in 1980 in a world championship match to Larry Holmes. As a boxer, Ali was known especially for his speed, with which he was able to correct his match technical deficiencies. In the early stages of his career, Ali often dropped his guard and kept his hands down in an effort to avoid his opponent's blows. Later in his career, he relied heavily on his impact resistance. After his career, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but there is no certainty about the impact of his boxing background on the disease. In addition to boxing, Ali worked as an actor, recorded music and appeared in the lead role in a musical. His match against George Foreman, known as Rumble in the Jungle, was made into a 1997 documentary film Kings of the Ring, which was awarded the Academy Award for Best Documentary. In 2001, the movie Ali about Muhammad Ali's life was released, in which he was played by Will Smith. It was nominated for two Academy Awards as well as many other awards in the film industry. Muhammad Ali has been honored in many ways after his career: The Ring rated him as the "best boxer" and "best fighter" in 1997. Sports Illustrated chose him as the "athlete of the century" in 1999. In the same year, the French L'Équipe ranked Ali second, the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat third and the Swedish Dagens Nyheter seventh in the list of the most outstanding athletes of the century. He lit the Atlanta Olympic flame in 1996. The WBC named him the King of Boxing in 2012.