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Muhammad Ali

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Uploaded on Oct 27, 2007

The Greatest.
Fighting style
Ali was best known for his fighting style which he described as "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". His movement is often described as a dance; some go so far as to call it beautiful.[attribution needed] Throughout his career Ali made a name for himself with great handspeed, as well as fast feet and taunting tactics. While Ali was renowned for his fast, sharp out-fighting style, he also had a great chin, and displayed a great heart and ability to take a punch in his 1974 fight against George Foreman in Zaire, called the Rumble in the Jungle.
Early life
Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942. His father, Clay Sr., painted billboards and signs, and his mother, Odessa Grady Clay, was a household domestic. Although Clay Sr. was a Methodist, he allowed Odessa to bring up both Clay boys as Baptists.[2]

Ali voluntarily dropped out of Louisville Central High in the Spring of 1958 and although school records do not explain the reason for his withdrawal, they do indicate that the poor grades he was making at the time were probably responsible for his decision.[citation needed] However, in September of that same year, Ali re-enrolled in Central High, a local basketball power, and stayed until he graduated, finishing 376 out of a class of 391 seniors in the class of 1960.
Amateur career; Olympic gold
Ali was first directed toward boxing by Louisville police officer, Joe E. Martin, who encountered the then twelve-year-old Cassius Clay fuming over the fact that his bicycle had been stolen.[3] However, without Martin knowing, he also began training with Fred Stoner at another gym.[attribution needed] In this way, he could continue making $4 a week on Tomorrow's Champions, a TV show that Martin hosted, while benefiting from the coaching of the more-experienced Stoner, who continued working with Ali throughout his amateur career.[attribution needed]

Ali's last amateur loss was to Kent Green of Chicago, who could say he was the last person to defeat the champion until Ali lost to Joe Frazier in 1971 as a pro. Under Stoner's guidance, Muhammad Ali went on to win six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union National Title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.[4] Ali's record was 100 wins, with five losses, when he ended his amateur career.

Ali states (in his 1975 autobiography) that he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River after being refused service at a 'whites-only' restaurant, and fighting with a white gang. Whether this is true is still debated, although he was given a replacement medal during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he lit the torch to start the games.
Vietnam War
In 1964, Ali failed the U.S. Armed Forces qualifying test because his writing and spelling skills were sub par. However, in early 1966, the tests were revised and Ali was reclassified as 1A. This classification meant he was now eligible for the draft and induction into the U.S. Army. This was especially important because the United States was engaged in the Vietnam War. When notified of this status, he declared that he would refuse to serve in the United States Army and publicly considered himself a conscientious objector. Ali stated that "War is against the teachings of the Holy Qur'an. I'm not trying to dodge the draft. We are not supposed to take part in no wars unless declared by Allah or The Messenger. We don't take part in Christian wars or wars of any unbelievers." Ali also famously said in 1966: "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong ... They never called me nigger."
From his rematch with Liston in May 1965, to his final defense against Zora Folley in March 1967, he successfully defended his title nine times, an active schedule for that period. Ali was scheduled to fight WBA champion Ernie Terrell in a unification bout in Toronto on March 29, but Terrell backed out and Ali won a 15-round decision against substitute opponent George Chuvalo. He then went to England and defeated Henry Cooper and Brian London by stoppage on cuts. Ali's next defense was against German southpaw Karl Mildenberger, the first German to fight for the title since Max Schmeling. In one of the tougher fights of his life, Ali stopped his opponent in round 12.
Ali returned to the United States in November 1966 to fight Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams in the Houston Astrodome. A year and a half before the fight, Williams had been shot in the stomach at point-blank range by a Texas policeman. As a result, Williams went into the fight missing one kidney and 10 feet of his small intestine, and with a shriveled left leg from nerve damage from the bullet. Ali beat Williams in three rounds.
On February 6, 1967, Ali returned to a Houston boxing ring to fight Terrell in what became one of the uglier fights in boxing.

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