Muhammad Ali is a retired American professional boxer who was born on 17th January 1942 as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. Despite his having a polarizing and controversial figure during his early stages of his career today most people regard Ali as the greatest boxer in the heavyweight category. In addition to his highly regarded skills in the ring, he also exemplified different values outside the ring that includes insistence on the freedom of religion and racial justice. Ali’s boxing talent was nurtured by a police officer who used to train young boxer after an odd turn of fate. In 1964 just when he had turned twenty-two years, he won the world heavyweight championship. He later changed his name after that bout that also involved joining a group called the Nation of Islam. His strong involvement with the religious beliefs of Islamic and his stand against the involvement of United States in the Vietnam War resulted to him being stripped of his title and also he was arrested.
Ali professional debut came on 29th October 1960 with a sixth round win over Tunney Hunsaker. This marked the begin of a great career for Ali. Ali went on to win a record of 19 out of 19 fights with 15 of them being on a knockout. Until 1963 when he fought Doug Jones, he had made his ring opponents a laughing stroke but on March that year he encountered one of his toughest tests during that period. In 1964 His fight with world number one at the time, Sonny Liston brought out the unexpected outcome. Ali won the match after the seventh round and recorded his status as the one of the greatest fighter. By taking the title from the reigning champion, Ali became the youngest fighter to do so although Mike Tyson broke the record later.
Ali was denied the opportunity to participate in any boxing event in any state in America and also his passport was stripped of him due to his refusal to participate in the military works. This resulted to him not fighting for about three years. Lack of fight time encouraged Ali to advocate for racial justice, religious freedom and his continued criticism of Vietnam War. The city of Atlanta was the first to grant Ali his boxing license despite his case still being in appeal. His return saw Ali win a number of fights before he suffered his first defeat in the professional fight against Joe Frazier.
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