Things You May Not Know About “Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali”

Things You May Not Know About “Boxing Legend Muhammad Ali”

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) was an American professional boxer. Born on January 17, 1942 as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. He was considered to be one of the greatest in the history of sports. He died at the age of 74 on June 3, 2016. He was suffering from a respiratory illness, a condition that was complicated by Parkinson’s disease. Muhammad Ali, one of the most famous figures of the 20th century was a three-time heavyweight champion. In his honor, here are ten facts about “The Greatest.”
1. He used to race the school bus.
As a kid growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius didn’t ride the bus to school like other kids. Instead of riding, Cassius would literally race the bus to school every morning.
2. He was afraid of flying.
Perhaps the only thing Ali scared of was flying in a plane. He was so scared that he even decided winning a gold medal wasn’t worth risking a plane crash and decided to skip the Olympics. Fortunately, boxing coach Joe Martin talked Ali into flying, although the fighter still needed extra assurance.
3. A stolen bicycle started his boxing career.
As a 12-year-old boy, Cassius Clay was given a beautiful new bicycle as a gift. The bicycle was stolen, and when Cassius went to the local police department to report the theft, he met officer Joe Martin. Martin introduced Cassius to the world of boxing, and this was the beginning of his boxing career. Also Cassius vowed that he was “going to whip whoever stole his bike,” but the stolen bicycle never turned up.
4. He never turns down an autograph request.
As a young boy, Cassius Clay asked his idol, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson for an autograph. Robinson rudely told the boy “I don’t got time.” Young Cassius never forgot how hurt he was by Robinson’s rejection. So he never once turned down a request for an autograph. He even had a special P.O. box for anyone who wants his autograph.
5. Just wore Elvis’ robe once.
Elvis Presley gave Ali a boxing robe as a gift, with the words “The People’s Champion” inscribed on the back. Ali wore it to his next fight, but he lost. He never wore the robe to fight again, thinking it was bad luck.
6. Ali once talked a jumper off a roof.
Los Angeles, 1981. An unnamed 21-year-old was on the ninth-floor fire escape, claiming the Viet Cong were out to get him. Even worse, he claimed he was going to kill himself. The situation was looking pretty grim—police officers couldn’t talk him down, and the crowd was chanting for the man to jump. Things could’ve taken a grisly turn if Muhammad Ali hadn’t come running up. The retired boxer was across the street when he was told about the jumper. Without a moment’s hesitation, Ali hurried to the building and offered his assistance and he was able to talk him down. The boxer then escorted the man to a hospital and promised to help him build a better future. “Saving a life is more important to me than winning a world championship,” Ali said afterward.
7. The gloves he wore to defeat Liston earned him more money than the victory itself.
Almost 50 years to the day after Ali captured the heavyweight championship for the first time, an anonymous buyer purchased the gloves he wore to defeat Liston in the seventh-round technical knockout for $836,000. Ali only earned $630,000 for the victory itself.
8.Before becoming known as Muhammad Ali, he changed his name to Cassius X.
The morning after defeating Liston, the new heavyweight champion confirmed reports that he had become a member of the Nation of Islam. With Malcolm X at his side, the champ told reporters that he had renounced his surname, which he called his “slave name,” and would be known as “Cassius X” until Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad gave him a holy name. That name, Muhammad Ali, was bestowed on March 6, 1964.
9. Ali was banned from boxing for three years.
As the Vietnam War raged in 1967, Ali refused to serve in the U.S. military for religious reasons. The heavyweight champion was arrested, and the New York State Athletic Commission immediately suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his title. Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison and fined $10,000, although he remained free while the conviction was appealed. In 1970 the New York State Supreme Court ordered his boxing license reinstated, and he returned to the ring by knocking out Jerry Quarry in October 1970. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Ali’s conviction in a unanimous decision.
10. Ali recorded an Album.
The loquacious Ali was boxing’s poet laureate, composing verses in which he taunted opponents and praised himself. His iambic pentameter was so popular that Columbia Records released a 1963 spoken word album called “I Am the Greatest” in which the 21-year-old rising star performed his poetry, backed my musical accompaniment, before an audience. The album also included two songs by the boxer, including a cover of the Ben E. King hit “Stand by Me.”

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