Muhammad Ali -born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr-is a three-time World Heavyweight Champion, who is widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight championship boxers.
Amateur career and Olympic gold medal.
Muhammad Ali won six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union National Title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Ali’s amateur record was 100 wins with five losses.
After his Olympic win, Ali returned to Louisville to begin his professional career and on October 29, 1960, he won his first professional fight, a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker, who was the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia. Ali’s next fight was against Henry Cooper, who knocked Ali down with a left hook near the end of the fourth round. The fight was stopped in the fifth due to deep cuts over Cooper’s eyes.
Sonny Liston Vs Muhammad Ali
The title fight between Sonny Liston and Ali was scheduled On February 25, 1964 in Miami Florida. Ali was not widely expected to defeat Sonny Liston who was favorite to win (7–1 odds). The fight was nearly canceled when the promoters of the fight heard that Ali had become member of the Nation of Islam but Ali protested the suggested cancellation of the fight and as a compromise, Ali was asked the to delay his announcement about his conversion until after the fight.
In the opening rounds, Ali’s speed kept him away from Liston’s powerful head and body shots, as he used his height advantage to beat Liston to the punch with his jabs. By the third round, Ali was ahead on points and had opened a cut under Liston’s eye, but Liston regained some ground in the fourth, as Ali was blinded by a substance in his eyes. It is unconfirmed whether this was something used to close Liston’s cuts, or deliberately applied to Liston’s gloves; Liston began the fourth round looking to put away Ali as the challenger struggled to recover his vision. Ali was able to keep out of range until his sweat and tears rinsed the substance from his eyes, responding with a flurry of combinations near the end of the fifth round. By the sixth, Ali was looking to finish Liston. and when Liston failed to answer the bell for the seventh round, stating he had a shoulder injury Ali became the youngest boxer ever to take the title from a reigning heavyweight champion, until Mike Tyson won the title from Trevor Berbick.
Sonny Liston Vs Muhammad Ali video
Sonny Liston Vs Muhammad Ali rematch
The rematch was held in May 1965 in Lewiston, Maine, and Ali won by knockout in the first round as a result of what came to be called the “phantom punch.” Many believe that Liston, possibly as a result of threats from Nation of Islam extremists, or in an attempt to “throw” the fight to pay off debts, waited to be counted out.
Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston rematch video
Early title defenses
On November 22, 1965, Ali fought Floyd Patterson in his second title defense winning by a technical knockout at the end of the 12th round. Ali then won a 15-round decision against opponent George Chuvalo and went to England where he defeated Henry Cooper by stoppage on cuts May 21.
Muhammad Ali vs Ernie Terrel
On February 6, 1967, Ali fought Terrell in what became one of the uglier fights in boxing. Terrell had angered Ali by calling him Clay, and Ali vowed to punish him. During the fight, Ali kept shouting at his opponent, “What’s my name, Uncle Tom. Terrell suffered 15 rounds of brutal punishment, losing 13 rounds on two judges’ scorecards, but Ali did not knock him out.
Banned form boxing
Ali’s refusal to be inducted into the U.S.military, based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War led to his arrest and in March 1967 was stripped of his title and had his professional boxing license suspended. His refusal to be inducted into the U.S. military, based on his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War led to his arrest. He was found guilty on draft evasion charges, stripped of his boxing title, and his boxing license was suspended. He was not imprisoned, but did not fight again for nearly four years while his appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was successful.
Return to boxing and first fights
Muhammad Ali vs Jerry Quarry
On October 26, 1970,(while his case was still on appeal) Ali stopped Jerry Quarry on a cut after three rounds.
Muhammad Ali vs Jerry Quarry video
Muhammad Ali vs Oscar Bonavena
Ali went to fight Oscar Bonavena at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 1970. After a tough 14 rounds, Ali stopped Bonavena in the 15th, paving the way for a title fight against Joe Frazier.
Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali ‘The Fight of the Century’
The “Fight Of The Century” (On March 8, 1971), was the first meeting of two undefeated heavyweight champions, since Ali (31-0) had not lost his title in the ring (been stripped because of his refusal to be inducted in the Armed Forces). Frazier won a clear, 15-round, unanimous decision, retained his title. After the fight Ali was taken to the hospital to have his badly swollen jaw x-rayed, and Frazier spent time in the hospital during the ensuing month, the exertions of the fight having been exacerbated by his existing health problems. (hypertension and kidney infection)
Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali video
Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton I & II
In 1973, Ali fought Ken Norton, who broke Ali’s jaw and won by split decision in 12 rounds.
Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton I video
Ali won the rematch, also by split decision, on September 10, 1973, which set up Ali-Frazier II.
Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton II video
Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali II
George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’
During the summer of 1974, Foreman traveled to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to defend his title against Ali. The bout was promoted as The Rumble in the Jungle. During training in Zaire, Foreman suffered a cut above his eye, forcing postponement of the match for a month. Foreman was favorite having knocked out both Joe Frazier and Ken Norton (the only men to defeat Ali to that point) within two rounds.
When Foreman and Ali finally met in the ring, Ali began more aggressively than expected, outscoring Foreman with superior punching speed. In the second round, Ali retreated to the ropes, shielding his head and hitting Foreman in the face at every opportunity. Foreman dug vicious body punches into Ali’s sides; however, it quickly became clear that Foreman was unable to land a clean punch to Ali’s head. The ring ropes, being much looser than usual, allowed Ali to lean back and away from Foreman’s wild swings and then maul him in a clinch, forcing Foreman to expend extra energy untangling himself. Ali also pushed down on Foreman’s neck, getting away with a move the referee is expected to discourage.
In either case, Ali was able to counter off the ropes with blows to the face, and was able to penetrate Foreman’s defense. As the early rounds passed, Ali continued to take heavy punishment to the body, and occasionally a hard jolt to the head, but Foreman could not land his best punches directly on Ali’s chin. Eventually, Foreman began to tire and his punches became increasingly wild, losing power in the process. An increasingly-confident Ali taunted Foreman throughout the bout. Late in the eighth round, Ali began landing unreturned punches and sprang off the ropes with a sudden flurry to Foreman’s head, punctuated by a hard right cross that landed flush on Foreman’s jaw. Foreman was thrown off balance and fell to the floor. It was Foreman’s first defeat, and Muhammad Ali would remain the only boxer to defeat him by a knockout.
George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali video
The “Rumble in the Jungle” was the subject of a 1996 Academy Award winning documentary film, When We Were Kings.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier ‘The Thrilla in Manila’
Ali and Frazier met for the third and final time in Quezon City, the Philippines, on October 1, 1975 best known as the “Thrilla in Manila”. The fight for Ali’s title and was far more action-filled than the previous encounter. Ali came out and walked flat footed to the center of the ring and then proceeded to unleash a flurry of combinations on Frazier, who was hurt a number of times by Ali’s onslaught, including staggering backwards several times in the first few rounds.
Frazier seemed to dominate the middle rounds and began punishing Ali to the body and the head with his trademark left hooks. By the sixth round, Frazier had staggered Ali in turn and seemed to be gaining control of the fight. In the tenth round, Frazier began to slow down and tire, and was met once more with punishing blows from Ali. With the punishment from Ali closing his right eye, Frazier was effectively fighting blind in the last rounds of the fight. By the 14th round Frazier was virtually helpless, and although Ali was tired and hurting, he was able to summon the energy once again to give Frazier a fierce beating, and once again Frazier was staggered and nearly knocked down before the bell ended the round. The fight ended when Frazier’s trainer Eddie Futch stopped the fight before the 15th and final round with Frazier sitting on his stool.
Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali 3 Video
Subsequent bouts and retirement
Ali easily beat Jean-Pierre Coopman. In April 1976 he defeated Jimmy Young and then Richard Dunn the following month, which would turn out to be Ali’s last knockout victory.
Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton III
On September 28. 1976, at Yankee Stadium, Ali faced Ken Norton in their third fight, with Ali winning a close but unanimous 15-round decision. Muhammed Ali successfully defended his titles against Ken Norton in a close fight as he was declared the victor in a disputed decision.
The January 1998 issue of Boxing Monthly ranked Ali-Norton as the fifth most disputed title fight decision in history.
Muhammad Ali vs Ken Norton III video
During 1977 Ali defend his title against Alfredo Evangelista and Earnie Shavers. Fight doctor Ferdie Pacheco left Ali’s camp following the Shavers fight after being rebuffed for advising Ali to retire.
Muhammad Ali vs Leon Spinks title fight
In February 1978, Ali lost the heavweight title to 1976 Olympics Champion Leon Spinks.
Muhammad Ali vs Leon Spinks title rematch
On September 15, 1978, Ali fought a rematch in the New Orleans Louisiana Superdome against Spinks for the WBA version of the Heavyweight title, winning it for a record third time.
Muhammad Ali vs Leon Spinks title video
First Retirement and comeback fight against Larry Holmes
Larry Holmes vs Muhammad Ali
Ali retired following this victory on June 27, 1979, but returned in 1980 to face current champion Larry Holmes in an attempt to win a heavyweight title an unprecedented four times. Angelo Dundee refused to let his man come out for the 11th round, in what became Ali’s only loss by anything other than a decision.
Larry Holmes vs Muhammad Ali video
Second Retirement and last fight against Trevor Berbick
Ali’s final fight, a loss by unanimous decision after 10 rounds, was to up-and-coming challenger Trevor Berbick in 1981.
Ali was nicknamed “The Greatest”, and was involved in several historic boxing matches such as the 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. Rather than the normal style which he described as “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”, and employing techniques such as the rope-a-dope. He was also known for his pre-match hype, where he would “trash talk” opponents on television and in person some time before the match, often with rhymes. These personality quips and idioms, along with an unorthodox fighting technique, made him a cultural icon. In later life, Ali developed Parkinson’s disease. In 1999, Ali was crowned “Sportsman of the Century” by Sports Illustrated and “Sports Personality of the Century” by the BBC.
Photos of Muhammad Ali
Holder of the title : February 25, 1964-April 29, 1967,October 30, 1974-February 15, 1978, September 15, 1978-April 27, 1979
Nickname :The Greatest, The Champ, The Louisville Lip
Height :6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Reach :80 in (203 cm)
Birth date : January 17, 1942 (1942-01-17) (age 68)
Death date : June 04, 2016 (1942-01-17) (age 74)
Total fights : 61
Wins by KO: 37
Draws : 0