ESPN Network:  ESPN.com |  NFL.com |  NHL.com |  ABCSports |  EXPN |  FANTASY




 
  

Keyword: ABC Sports 





































The Greatest of all-time


Born on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, KY, Cassius Clay later changed his name to Muhammad Ali after he adopted the Muslim faith. No one knew back then the legacy that Ali would bring to the world.

Clay won the gold medal in the 1960 Olympic games and turned professional soon after. In 1964, Clay defeated Sonny Liston with in a seventh round knockout for his first World Heavyweight Championship. After this fight, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali and this marked the beginning of the legend.

Ali faced a great deal of criticism for adopting the Muslim faith. He used his position to speak out against oppression and racism. This decision affected his boxing career in 1967 when, for religious reasons, he refused induction into the United States Army. Ali was stripped of his title, fined $10,000 and sentenced to five years in jail.

ABC announcer Howard Cosell was one of the first to speak out in favor of Ali's religious based decision. Unfortunately for some, this choice by Ali resulted in a three-year suspension from professional boxing during the prime of his career. Ali never wavered on his position of faith and outspoken opinion on social injustice. In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-0 to overturn Ali's draft evasion conviction.

Ali's claim to greatness is unsurpassed. He has fought boxing legends; including George Foreman and Joe Frazier. He is the only man to win the heavyweight title three times. Although hindered with Parkison's disease, Ali was chosen to light the flame at the start of the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta acknowledging his lifetime commitment to the betterment of the human condition.

ESPN.com:  HELP |  ADVERTISER INFO |  CONTACT US |  TOOLS |  SITE MAP
Copyright ©2001 ESPN Internet Group. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site. Employment opportunities at ESPN.com.