18 things to know about champion Muhammad Ali
_Name exact: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. / Nickname: The Greatest
_Né January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky
_Date of death: June 3, 2016 at the age of 74 years in Arizona.
Size: 1m91 / Weight: 100 kg / Post: Boxer
Muhammad Ali, whose real name is Cassius Clay, is one of the greatest boxers of all time. By defeating heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in 1964 in Miami Beach, Florida, he amazed the world with his talent. He showed how to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee“. Deceased at the age of 74, he remains one of the most important heavyweight champions. Humanitarian and activist, Ali will forever be one of the legends of boxing.
Afroculture.net presents 18 things you may not know about Muhammad Ali.
- 1/ The theft of his bike motivated our champion to get into boxing.
In October 1954, an individual stole the Schwinn red and white bike from Cassius Clay, the real name of Muhammad Ali. Unhappy and angry, he reported the incident to police officer Joe Martin and said that one day he will find the culprit. At that time, he was 12 years old and living in Louisville. The officer advised Cassius to first learn to fight before going to pick up the thief. Boxing coach at a local community center, he took Cassius on his wing and taught him boxing. Six weeks later, he won his first amateur boxing bout in a split decision.
- 2/ The first person he knocked out was his mom.
At the age of 2, little Ali has knocked out his mother. This first hook of Ali will cost two teeth to his mother, Odessa Clay.
I had a big head, and I looked like Joe Louis in my cradle. People said so. One day I threw my first punch and hit my mother right in the teeth and knocked one out. If you don’t believe me, ask her.” »
- 3/ He inherited his name Cassius Clay from a white abolitionist.
A white, anti-slavery abolitionist named Cassius Marcellus Clay, first cousin of Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, abolished the 40 slaves he inherited from his father. Among his slaves was Muhammad Ali’s father, who inherited his name.
- 4/ The boxer has Irish origins.
His great-grandfather was an Irishman, named Abe Grady, who emigrated to the United States and settled in Kentucky in the 1860s. There, he married a freed slave. Ali’s mother, Odessa Lee Grady Clay is one of their grandchildren. In 2009, Ali went to discover the ancestral hometown of his great-grandfather, Ennis, in Ireland, and met other members of the O’Grady clan.
- 5/ A true champion is born.
Ali won as an amateur boxer, 100 of 108 fights, including six Kentucky Golden Gloves championships and one Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Winners: 61 fights, 56 wins and 5 losses.
- 6 / Ali refused to go to war in Vietnam for religious reasons.
Indeed, he refused to serve in the US Army for religious reasons. He considered the Vietnam War unfair.
No Vietcong has ever called me a Negro.”
Following his refusal, he was banned from boxing for three years and five years in prison, but could remain on appeal. To punish him, he was stripped of his world title.
- 7/ Ali recorded an album of poems.
In 1963, record label Columbia Records released an album entitled “I Am the Greatest” in which we hear the boxer played poems. It must be remembered that Ali loved to write poems about himself and his opponents.
- 8/ One of Mohamed Ali’s most emblematic fights took place in Kinshasa, Zaire, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ali’s legendary fight against undefeated champion George Foreman took place at 4 am in Kinshasa, Zaire. The president of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko, paid more than $ 5 million in 1974 to each boxer to organize the fight of the century in his country. He was right, because this boxing match is one of the most famous of Ali’s career. Our champion, dubbed “Rumble in the Jungle” returned to the heavyweight title that had been retired seven years earlier, with an eighth-round knockout.
- 9/ Mohamed Ali is the father of 10 children (9 biological children and one adopted) and he had 4 wives.
|The ten children ((8 girls and 2 boys)||Wives|
|1 / Maryum Ali is the daughter of Belinda Boyd, born on June 18, 1968
2 / Rasheda Ali is the daughter of Belinda Boyd, born in 1970 with her twin Jamilllah Ali
3 / Jamillah Ali is the daughter of Belinda Boyd, born in 1970 with her twin Rasheda Ali
4 / Mohamed Ali (Muhammad Ali (junior) is the son of Belinda Boyd, born in 1972.
N.B: He is the only biological boy of the boxer MOHAMED ALI. And will bear the same name as him.
5 / Miya Ali is the daughter of Patricia Harvell, born in 1972
6 / Khaliah Ali is the daughter of Wanda Bolton (Aaisha Ali), born in September 1974
7 / Hana Yasmeen Ali is the daughter of Veronica Porché Ali, August 6th 1976
8 / Laila Amaria Ali is the daughter of Veronica Porche Ali, born December 30, 1977
9 / Kiiursti Mensah Ali is the daughter of Barbara Mensah, born in 1981
10 / Assad Amin (or Asaad Amin) is the adopted son of Mohamed Ali and Yolanda Williams Lonnie after their marriage in 1986.Adopted at the age of 5 months and considered as a legitimate child of Mohamed Ali.
| 1. Sonji Roi: This is Ali’s first wife.
2. Belinda Boyd
3. Veronica Porshe Ali
4. Yolanda Williams Lonnie
He also had many concubines.
In total, he had 4 marriages, 3 divorces and 3 cohabitings, and one adoptive child considered legitimate.
- 10/ In 1978, he became the first boxing champion to win the heavyweight title three times.
He was elected heavyweight champion in 1964, 1974 and 1978.
- 11/ To protest racism, he threw his Olympic gold medal at the bottom of a river in Ohio.
After winning the gold medal for light heavyweights at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Ali threw his Olympic gold medal at the bottom of a river, as he was still experiencing racism in his hometown. (Source Ali autobiography of 1975). Despite everything, his story has been denied by some of his relatives who say he lost the medal. In 1996, at the Summer Olympics, Ali received a replacement gold medal.
- 12/Ali changed his name to Cassius X when he became a member of the Nation of Islam
This action was completed in 1964, when he beat boxer Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Championship title.
- 13/ He played in a Broadway musical.
During his 3-year exile following the fact that he refused to go to war in Vietnam. Ali starred in a Broadway musical, the ephemeral “Buck White“.
- 14/ In 1971, Mohamed Ali lost his fight against boxer Joe Frazier.
His fight against Frazier was the first professional fight he lost. Despite his defeat, they shared $ 5 million at Madison Square Garden. Persevering, Ali fought Frazier two more times. He won both matches. One of his two fights is nicknamed “Thrilla in Manila“, and it is one of the best fights in the history of the sport.
- 15/One of the most moving moments in Ali’s life
Ali’s Parkinson’s disease lit the torch of the summer ceremony in Atlanta on July 19, 1996. According to Sports Illustrated, this is a very moving moment in the history of sport. In 1999, he was voted the best North American sportsman of the twentieth century by Sports Illustrated.
- 16/ For Ali, his illness was a message from God, to remind him that he was only a man.
Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Ali told reporters:
God gave me Parkinson’s syndrome to show me I’m not ‘The Greatest‘ – he is. »
- 17/ The star of Muhammad Alis on the Hollywood Walk of Fame rests on the wall and not on the sidewalk.
In 2002, Ali was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But because of his religious beliefs, he is the only star who has a Walk of Fame star. on the wall of Dolby Theater on Hollywood Blvd.
Why that ?
The boxer refused to let his name be on the sidewalk where people could walk on it.
I bear the name of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, and it is impossible that I allow people to trample over his name,” he said at the time..
- 18/ Since 2013, there is a Muhammad Ali Center in the hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.
They honor the memory of this great champion
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