Muhammad Ali

No question, the most famous boxing champion of the twentieth century born in 1942 is Muhammad Ali. His real name was as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. and he won 56 of his 61 professional fights. He also won three times the world heavyweight championship and a gold medal in the 1960 Olympic light-heavyweight competition in Rome. In 1964 after winning at Miami Beach against Sonny Liston, Ali was crowned heavyweight champion. After the boxing match he stated: “I am the greatest, I shook up the world” – it was difficult to argue with him by the end of his career.

Ali became a hero thanks to a series of famous contents. For instance, in 1970, he played the named at the time ‘the fight of the century’ against the undefeated in the ring champion Joe Frazier. Ali played against Frazier and he endured the exhausting 14 rounds before in the 15th round Frazier took the title. These two players met again in 1974, in New York where Ali won in a 12-round undisputed decision. He regained his heavyweight title on October 30, 1974 in a match called ‘the Rumble in the Jungle’ against George Foreman. Ali continue with his great fights and a year later, he touched gloves for the third and final time in Quezon City with Frazier in the so-called ‘Thriller in Manila’, where he took the fight in the final round under outstandingly hard conditions. Ali described the boxing match as “the closest thing to death” that he had ever experienced.

In 1978 Ali earned his third and last heavyweight crown when he dethroned Leon Spinks – but the triumph was short-lived, because Ali moved out of the boxing spotlight. In 1982 after being diagnosed with Parkinsons, Ali retired permanently, but in 1999 he was crowned by the BBC as the sportsman of the century. He is well known as an incredible pound-for-pound boxer, with extreme performance against boxers of a similar weight. Together with his legendary fighting ability, Ali was travelling all over the world and fighting for human rights as well.

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