Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942 (Layden, 2015). Anger, fueled Clay’s motivation to begin boxing. Clay’s started boxing at the age of twelve, when his bike; a gift from his father was stolen. He was encouraged to channel his anger into boxing by Joe Martin, who was a cop at the time. Clay began training with the Hall of Famer, Joe Martin, for six months before entering his first match. Clay won the fight after only three rounds. According to Martin, Clay, was sassy and worked harder than any other man in the gym. He would be the first to arrive at the gym and the last to leave (Man, n.d). Clay was also known for his very unique style of fighting. He did not use his hands to defend his face, instead he relied on his ability to avoid the punches (Muhammad Ali Biography, n.d). Although this does not seem like a big deal, it would later cause upset with older fighters and sports writers. They saw it as going against tradition and wimping out. Finding his passion in boxing, Clay would later be called a legend.
Beginning of His Career
In 1956 Clay competed in the Golden Gloves light heavy-weight tournament, but would not win for another three years. Shortly after his high school graduation Clay attended the Rome Olympics. This almost did not happen, due to Clay’s fear of flying. He got on the plane only after he was given a parachute (Man, n.d). While at the Olympics in Rome, Clay, earned the nickname “The Mayor of Olympic Village.” September 5, 1960 Clay won the Olympic Gold Medal for Light Heavyweight Boxing, after beating Zigzy Pietrzykowski of Poland (Man, n.d). When Clay came back home to Louisville after the Rome Olympics he faced challenging racism. This le...
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... is caused by multiple cerebral concussions. There have been many speculations that his diminishing health is directly related to boxing. However, Muhammad as made it very clear that he does not regret any of it. He is proud of what he did for himself and he is proud of what he did for black and Islamic oppression. In 1999, Muhammad was named Sportsman of the Century. Throughout his career he earned the World Heavyweight Championship three times and the North American Boxing Federation championship. In his early career he also received an Olympic gold medal at the age of eighteen. Not too long ago he was listed as number thirteen on Forbes Celebrity Top 100 (Muhammad Ali Biography, n.d.). Now Muhammad spends most of his time in Arizona, where he stays involved with Celebrity Fight Night. A charity that helps raies money for his Parkinson’s Center in Phoenix.
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