Saturday, October 23, 2010

Muhammad Ali

       Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. Later to become Muhammad Ali, he was not afraid of any fight inside or outside the ring. Growing up in the segregated South, Ali experienced firsthand the prejudice and discrimination that African-Americans faced during this era.

Muhammad Ali Interview 

     At the age of 12,his bike was stolen, and Ali told a police officer, Joe Martin, that he wanted to beat up the thief. Martin also trained young boxers at a local gym and advisd him to learn how to fight first.
  Ali started working with Martin to learn how to box, and soon began his boxing career. Three years later, he won the Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions and the Amateur Athletic Union's national title for the light-heavyweight division. In 1960, Ali won a spot on the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team and went on to win the Gold medal and the black superman had arrived.
 Black Superman

  When he returned he went professional and in 1964 upset Sonny Liston in Miami to become heavyweight champion of the world. The next day, Clay announced to the world that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and that his name was Cassius X. The X reflecting the unknown name that was taken from him by the slave owners centuries before.

Malcolm X Interview  

  The national response was immediate, negative and intense. Cassius X, soon to be given the name Muhammad Ali, by NOI founder Elijah Muhammad.  Ali continued to defend his crown against all comers, then 1967, as the Vietnam War was escalating, Ali was called up for induction into the Armed Services. Ali refused induction on the grounds of religious beliefs. The boxing association took away his title and suspended him from the sport for three and a half years.
   In 1970, while his case was still on appeal, Ali was allowed to fight again.Ali returned to the ring and fought Frazier in October of that year for the world title but lost when Frazier hit him with a left hook in the final round.

Rumble in the Jungle 
      In the summer of 74 after two losses to Frazier and Norton Don King arranged a purse of ten million dollars for Ali to fight Foreman for the world title in Zaire Africa.Sponsored by the dictator of that country President Joseph Mobutu.
 Foreman younger and stronger man, who had never lost and had knocked out 37 of his 40 opponents. His last eight fights had all ended inside six minutes. Foreman had destroyed Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, the two men who had beaten Muhammad Ali. He was surely unbeatable in the same way that Sonny Liston had been.Ali had a plan to defeat Foreman it was called
Rope A Dope

Ali began the bout by lying on the ropes and letting Foreman punch him, without any attempt to attack Foreman.
As a result Foreman spent all his energy throwing punches in a oven like heat, they either did not hit Ali or were blocked in a way that would do little damage to Ali. This loss of energy was the key to the "rope-a-dope" teachnique.

Thrilla in Manila September of 1975, for the third time, Ali fought Joe Frazier.The fight lasted 14 grueling rounds in temperatures approaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Ali won many of the early rounds, but Frazier staged a comeback in the middle rounds. By the late rounds, however, Ali had reasserted control and the fight was stopped when Frazier was unable to answer the bell for the 15th and final round his eyes were swollen closed. 
Ali won the title for a record third time in 1978 against Leon Spinks.He retired in 1981.
Sam Cooke and Muhammad Ali Gangs All Here 

 Ali Quotes
  At home I am a nice guy: but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far.  

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee

He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.

I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.

I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want.

I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me. It would be a better world.

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