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FunTimes Magazine

Muhammad Ali Revisited

Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. His birth name was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. Ali started his boxing at the age of 12 after telling a police officer that he wanted to beat up the person that stole his bike. That same officer also trained boxers and decided to take Ali under his wing. During his very first boxing match in 1954, Ali won by a split decision. After that he dominated just about every match, he fought. Between 1956 and 1959, Ali won the Golden Gloves tournament for novices in the light heavyweight class, the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions, and the Amateur Athletic Union's national title for the light heavyweight division. All of his successes won him a spot on the 1960 US Olympic boxing Team and won him the heavyweight Olympic gold medal.

After returning home from Italy for the Olympic games, Ali started to box professionally. He was known for his big statue, quick and graceful moves in the ring. Throughout his career, he won an astounding 56 matches and had 37 knockouts and five losses. He defeated the greatest boxers in the world including Joe Frazier and George Foreman and won three heavyweight titles.

Outside of the ring, Ali was a very boastful and outspoken man. He wasn't afraid to boast about his skills and wins and was also very outspoken about his religion and thoughts against the Vietnam War. In fact, he was stripped of his world title and professional boxing license in 1967 for refusing to serve in the war after being drafted. He claimed it was against his religion to fight and not once did he back down from his beliefs. He was found guilty, charged and given a five-year prison sentence for violating Selective Service laws. However, he never served any time in prison and eventually his case was overturned by the Supreme Court.

Ali retired from boxing in 1981. He was only 39 years old. By then he had been married 4 times and had 9 beautiful children. On June 3, 2006 Ali passed away. He left behind a powerful legacy in boxing, charity work and challenging the status quo. He was honored by former Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama and continues to inspire millions every day.