Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on January 17, 1942, the greatest of the great boxers of all time, finally gave up on life a few days ago, on June 3, 2016 at the venerable age of 74, after a ten years long battle with Parkinson disease. He was hospitalized a day before for some respiratory issues, and died of septic shock a few hours later.
This post is not news, it is a tribute to this sometimes controversial celebrated athlete with civic conscience, a philanthropist and a really great champion.
He was named “Cassius Marcellus”, after a nineteen century abolitionist, a fighter as well, in the Mexican-American War, a guy beaten, shot and stabbed by his opponents, who instead survived until the venerable age of 92.
Muhammad Ali – Facts
[source: Getty Images]
The day he knocked out Sonny Liston, he announced that he joined The Nation of Islam, a sect often mistaken as being Muslim. He took first the name “Cassius X”, to honor his mentor, Malcolm X. He was not a Muslim, he was a member of this somehow religious movement, where after a month after that glorious match, he was given the new name of Muhammad Ali. The thing is that Malcolm X was more mature and he didn’t like how things turned out in the sect; he publicly exposed “Honorable Elijah Muhammad”, the top figure there as having sex with his secretaries resulting in out of wedlock children and for other financial mismatches. He was “excommunicated” (if that’s the word for being excluded from the movement) and Ali hasn’t supported him.
He has Irish ancestry after his great-grandfather, who married a freed slave and had children and so on until Cassius was born.
He won the light heavyweight gold medal at the 1960’s Olympic Games in Rome when he was just 18. Back at home, he wasn’t accepted to work in a “whites only” restaurant, so in a temper he thrown the medal in the Ohio River. This may not be true, but it doesn’t matter, because despite his Parkinson, at the 1996 Olympics, he carried the Olympic flame to lit the cauldron. As a result, he was reissued with a new medal .
Ali opposed the war in Vietnam and refused to serve. This brought him a three years suspension when he was considered at the peak of his glory, but that wasn’t the end.
A Documentary about Muhammad Ali
Below you have a documentary showing his turbulent views, and his life main events on large:
He was more than a fighter, he was a revolutionary.
Here you have a short video with his considered best knock out wins in his carrier:
RIP, great man, RIP Muhammad Ali!
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