Muhammad Ali was best known for being an American boxer who was a three time World Heavyweight Champion. Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942, he had one older brother and his parents were Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. , and Odessa Grady Clay, his painted billboards and his mother was a housewife. At age 12 Ali started boxing with white Louisville police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin, and with Fred Stoner, an African-American trainer that work at a local community center.
In the last four years of Ali amateur boxing career, he trained with Chuck Bodak. As an amateur boxer Ali won six Kentucky Golden Gloves, along with two national Golden Glove title, and an Amateur Athletic Union National Title, Ali also the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics Games in Rome, Italy. Ali’s amateur career record was 100 wins and only five losses. Ali started with professional career on October 29, 1960 in a fight against Tunney Hunsaker.
Ali continued boxing and by 1963 he had a record of 19–0, with 15 knockouts, during this time Ali defeated many boxers, such as Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, Donnie Fleeman, Alonzo Johnson, George Logan, Willi Besmanoff, Doug Jones, Henry Cooper, and Lamar Clark, who had won his previous 40 fights by knockout. In 1963 Ali became the top contender for Sonny Liston’s title, even though he had an impressive record; he was still not expected to defeat the champ.
The fight was scheduled for February 25, 1964 in Miami, Florida, but it was almost canceled when rumors of Ali being seen around Miami and other cities with Malcolm X were heard, however the fight was not canceled and Ali was able to beat Liston, which made him at age 22 the youngest boxer ever to take the title from a reigning heavyweight champion. Ali defended and won his title on November 22, 1965 when he fought against Floyd Patterson. In 1964 failed the U. S. Armed Forces qualifying test because his writing and spelling skills were low; however in 1966 he was eligible for the draft and induction into the U. S. Army during a time when the United States was involved in the Vietnam War. shortly after Ali was scheduled for his induction into the U. S. Armed Forces on April 28, 1967 in Houston, he refused three times to step forward at the call of his name, this caused him to lose his boxing license and title.
Because of this other boxing commission filed a suit, Ali was found guilty, and his case was sent to the Supreme Court. In 1970, while his case was still on appeal, Ali was allowed to fight again. On August 12, 1970, thanks to the help of Leroy R. Johnson, the State Senator of Georgia, he was granted a license to box by the City of Atlanta Athletic Commission. In Atlanta on October 26, 1970, he stopped Jerry Quarry on a cut after three rounds. Shortly after the Quarry fight, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that Ali had been unjustly denied a boxing license.
Once again able to fight in New York, he fought Oscar Bonavena at Madison Square Garden in December 1970. After a tough 14 rounds, Ali stopped Bonavena in the 15th, paving the way for a title fight against Joe Frazier, who was himself undefeated. Ali continued fighting until December 11, 1981. During his professional career Ali had 56 wins and only 5 losses. During his life Ali changed his religion from to Muslim and was part of the Nation of Islam, after joining this group he changed his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr, to Muhammad Ali.
Ali was married four times, and had nine children, seven girls and two boys. His fist marriage was to Sonji Roi, from August 14, 1964 to January 10, 1966, his second marriage was to Belinda Boyd, who converted to Islam and changed her name to Khalilah Ali, from 1967 to 1977, his third marriage was to Veronica Porsche from 1977 to 1986, and he had his fourth marriage with Yolanda Ali on November 19, 1986. Muhammad Ali is still alive and hr lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his fourth wife Yolanda Ali.