He grew up in a poor family. Ali had problems in school at an early stage andfelt he had to do something different. His future career was fulfilled at 12.When Joe Martin police officer and boxing coach, tried to get Ali started withboxing. At the age of 16, Ali had won two Golden Glove Titles, two National AAUTitles, he was by now nationally recognized. When the 1960 Rome Olympic Game wasabout to take off, Ali was provided with an opportunity to represent hiscountry.
At this point he had fought 103 amateur matches, and had only lostfive. Ali went with Olympic team to Rome, and ended winning the gold medal. Whenhe got back to his hometown, Louisville, he thought that he was going to betreated as a champion, but he still was discriminated by the white society. Alidecided to throw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River because of his angerabout the racism in his hometown. By the age of 22 Ali had a professional boxingrecord of 19-0. On February 25, 1964, Ali got the heavyweight title shot.
Through all the media he was considered to be the “underdog”. Before thefight Ali used the media to psyche Sonny Liston. He predicted that ” Sonnywill fall in four”. Ali entered the ring as a 7-1 underdog to the Champ SonnyListon. Ali used his speed and movement to thoroughly outbox the champion. Alibecame the second youngest champion in history.
After the fight Ali told theworld that his name was now Muhammad Ali and that he had joined the Nation ofIslam. It put a great effect on his boxing career. As the champ he realized hispopularity in society, and he used it to his power to speak for the CivilRights. He became a political symbol of the black society, and maybe mostinfluential beside Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. During the next threeyears, he defended his title nine times with Ernie Terrell and then became theundisputed Heavyweight Champion. On April 28, 1967, the army for the inductionof the military service to fight in the Vietnam War drafted Muhammad Ali. Herefused to step forward when they called his name because of the religiousbeliefs.
He was immediately stripped of the heavyweight title, and got a fiveyear sentence to serve in prison, which was he appealed right away. He had nomore fight in 1967, 1968, and 1969. Ali said he could not fight in the warbecause of his religious beliefs. He already taken the army test and score 35percentile, and to qualify you needed at least a 55 or higher. Then most peoplewere drafted through the ages of 18-22, and he was 25.
What he did made him evenmore popular in his society, then they overturned his conviction. In 1970 hemade his first fight back and he didnt lose a step on his skills. His repgave him a title shot against Joe Frazier, the fight was known as the fight ofthe century. That was when he suffered his first pro lose.
In October 30, 1974,it was Ali vs. Forman a match that everyone had waited for. It was held in Zaireand it was nicknamed “the rumble in the jungle”, and once again he was theunderdog. People where actually feared for his safety because it was know thatForman was the hardest puncher in boxing history.
Ali ended up winning the fightby KO, and once again the heavyweight champ. It was the third match between JoeFrazier and Ali, and it was going to be known as “The Thrilla In Manilla”.That was his hardest fight of his career. Then he lost the title in 1978 againstLeon Spinks, but got it back 8 months later. He announced his retirement on June27, 1979.
He left boxing with a professional record of; 56 wins and 5 loses. Nowhe suffers from Parkinsons disease, and still does a lot of charity work. Hejust might have had the greatest success in sports history. Ali wanted toeveryone to know that he was the greatest, I think he did just that.