The Greatest of all-time
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.
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.
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.
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.