MUHAMMAD ALI The Greatest of all Time

Family Background:
Muhammad Ali also know as Cassius Marcellus, the first son to Odessa and Cassius Clay senior, was born on January 17,1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. He was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr., (who was named for the 19th century abolitionist and politician Cassius Clay). Ali later changed his name after joining the Nation of Islam, afterward converted to Sunni Islam in 1975.

In 1954, at age of 12, Ali's bike got stolen. Although he did not report the crime, he promised that he will beat up the person who stole it. The policeman whom he approached for help, named Joe Martin. Joe Martin told him that, if you want your bike back, you should be able to fight. Therefore, Joe Martin directed him to boxing trainer Fred Stoneran ( African American trainer) with the idea of guiding Clay’s fight. His coach, Joe Martin, then introduced him to a television show called "Tomorrows Champions". He got his first gold olympic medal in Rome in 1960. When he returned back home, he wasn't happy about the racism in U.S. Feeling tired he went to a restaurant, and ordered a hamburger. It didn't take a long time, when the owner of the store came and told Ali to leave. That made him so angry and disappointed, that he threw his medal in
O'high River.

Vietnam puts a Pause in Ali's Career:
In 1967, Ali was asked to join the U.S. military. According to his religious beliefs, he refused to serve in the United States Army during the Vietnam War as a conscientious objector, because he said that "War is against the teachings of the Holy Qur'an. I'm not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don't take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers." Ali also famously said, "I ain't got no quarrel with those Vietcong" and "no Vietcong ever called me nigger." As a result, he was fined $10.000 and found guilty for avoiding charges, stripped off his boxing title, and his boxing license was suspended. Although he was not imprisoned, he also did not get in boxing ring for nearly four years until his case reached to U.S. Supreme Court, where he was finally successful.

With his outspoken political and religious views he has provided leadership and an example for African American men and women around the world. Muhammad Ali, had fought against racism in the United States, and the affect it had on domestic and foreign policy, earned him many supporters and detractors. Ali's biggest weapon was his confidence and his attitude towards his opponent, his insults to his opponents made it clear that he wasn't afraid of them and he was extremely confident. (also known as a trash talker). Nicknamed 'The Greatest', Ali was in many historic boxing matches. Notable among these are three with rival Joe Frazier and one with George Foreman, whom he beat by knockout to win the world heavyweight title for the second time. Muhammad Ali fought 61 matches, he suffered only 5 losses with no draws from his career, and won 56 of them (37 knockouts and 19 decisions). Ali was dignified "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.

Did he achieve his goals?

Definitely yes, Ali has achieved all his goals. After retirement from the ring, Muhammad Ali got involved in various charities and humanitarian missions around the world. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 1996 he was awarded the honor of lighting the Olympic torch in Atlanta, Georgia, to mark the beginning of the Summer Olympic Games. His rich life has been covered in an autobiography, The Greatest: My Own Story, which appeared in the year 1975. Truly, Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest sportsmen of his times. He had achieved all his goals, became an unforgettable champion and a leader that fought for his own people, against racism. He is now a retired boxing champion, and continues to help people around the world.

Interesting Facts:

  • When Muhammad Ali appeared at the 1996 Olympics to light the flame, he was also given a new gold medal to replace the one that he threw into a river back in his early boxing years.
  • Muhammad Ali suffers from Parkinson's Syndrome which was brought on by the numerous blows to the side and back of the head and neck during his boxing career.
  • Muhammad Ali alleged that Liston put some foreign substance on his gloves in their first fight which caused him to go partially blind in the ring.
  • Cassius Clay was given the name 'Muhammad Ali' by the leader of the Muslim Nation, Elijah Muhammad, who revealed the name to Ali as "his true name", The adoption of this name symbolized his new identity as a Muslim, and he retained the name even after his later conversion to Sunni Islam.
  • Mohammad Ali's biggest weapon was his confidence and his attitude towards his opponent, his insults to his opponents made it clear that he wasn't afraid of them and he was extremely confident. (also known as a trash talker)

Ali's Quotations:

  • Champions aren´t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.”
  • Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are
  • Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.
  • Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.


  • BY: Arib Walizada, Maryam Ansari, Faizyab Irfan