Muhammad Ali

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In all of boxing history, Muhammad Ali stands alone. In early boasts, he called himself The Greatest,  and by the time his storied career came to an end, most fight fans agreed. Ali had also become the best-known athlete in the world and, very possibly, the best loved as well. Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. The son of Cassius Marcellus Sr., a sign and mural painter, and Odessa Grady, a housewife, Cassius may have been born junior,  but the eldest son of the Clay family was destined for true greatness. While a student at DuValle Junior High School and Central High, a young soon-to-be Muhammad Ali was always more interested in boxing rather than keeping his nose in the books. Actually, the theft of his bicycle is what led to his passion for boxing in the first place. Ali reported the theft of his bike to a policeman, who set him up with boxing trainer Fred Stoner. Ali used Stoners help to become a star boxer in his high school days, where he won 6 Kentucky championships, 2 national Golden Glove championships, and 2 Amateur Athletic Union Championships. Then at the age of 18, Ali went on to become an Olympic Gold medallist in the 1960 Rome Olympics. When he returned to his native Louisville, the light heavyweight champion became a professional boxer. On February 25, 1964, Ali fought Sonny Liston in Miami, defeating Liston to win the Heavyweight Champion of the World. But the hype and attention worthy of the fight was not solely based on Alis victory, rather his boastful lyrics and witty rhymes both in and out of the ring, even early on in his illustrious career. His ability 	o float like a butterfly, sting like a bee garnered Ali attention as a graceful yet powerful boxer, and a confident (to say the least) person. Not long after his championship, Ali began to make a difference on both political and racial fronts. He became openly disgusted with the racism towards African Americans in his own country, and displayed this anger by throwing his Olympic gold medal into a river in protest of the racism in America. Then in 1964, he converted to Islam, and was given the name that has gone down in history, Muhammad Ali. The Beloved of Allah became a controversial figure outside of the ring not only because he converted to Islam, but also because he refused to be drafted, in protest to Americas stance in the Vietnam War. In May 1967, the World Boxing Association took away his boxing license and his title, and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for violating the Selective Service Act. Finally released from prison on appeal, Ali returned to where he belonged: the boxing ring. There, he fought and defeated Jerry Quarry in 1970, but lost to Joe Frazier (the champion at the time) in 1971, after getting back his license. This would mark Alis first defeat as a professional boxer. But with defeat comes victory, and Ali used his smarts to outwit and ultimately outplay the younger ...

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