Muhammad Ali Boxer was born January 17, 1942. His real name was Cassius Marcellus Clay, he was an American Olympic and professional boxer and activist of his time. besides all this he is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. Muhmmad Ali Boxer died on June 3, 2016. Today we are sharing 10 Most Interesting Facts about Muhammad Ali Boxer.
Most Interesting Facts about Muhammad Ali Boxer
You may read many things about Muhammad Ali Boxer in news but today we are going to share the most interesting facts from the life of Muhammad Ali Boxer.
1. Early Life as Cassius Marcellus Clay
Apparently, the renowned boxer, just like his father, was named Cassius Marcellus Clay. This was the name of a white abolitionist of the 19th century who was also a farmer and an anti-slave crusader who emancipated 40 slaves.
This abolitionist also edited an anti-slavery newspaper, commanded troops and also served as minister to Russia under President Abraham Lincoln. However, unlike Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), the original Cassius Clay faced serious death threats in his lifetime where he was beaten, stabbed and shot by political opponents.
2. Inspiration from a Bicycle
We’ve had so many testimonies where inspirations to success have been drawn from very weird places or situations. Well, here’s yet another one: Young Clay Cassius at the age of twelve got his bicycle stolen. Like any other person would do, he reported the theft to Louisville, Kentucky.
The police officer at the station, Joe Martin who also doubled as a boxing trainer suggested to the young Clay that he should just learn how to fight. Thereon the officer took Clay under his mentorship and training. Six months later he defeated Liston.
3. His Gxpensive Gloves
How much would you sell your tool of trade for? On that note, what is it? A pen perhaps, how much would you sell it for? For a boxer, the gloves are just as worth as the greatness of the match. About 50 years after Ali won the heavyweight championship, a mysterious buyer bought the gloves Ali won when he defeated Liston at a crazy price of $836,000. This was way above the $630,000 that the boxer earned for the victory itself.
4. Boxing Ban
Just like any other career with ups and downs, Ali had his fair share of the downs when he was banned from boxing. The great Muhammad Ali boxer declined to join the U.S. military for service in the Vietnam War back in 1967. His reasons he said were religious. Some records show also that he declined to do so citing that no Vietnamese citizen ever referred to him as ‘nigga’. He was arrested and the New York State Athletic Commission immediately suspended his boxing license and also took his title away.
5. Attempt to be a jack of all trades
What other career would you associate a boxer or wrestler with? Biking maybe? Well Dwayne Johnson is a great actor, right? Then you shouldn’t be so surprised to hear that this great boxer, Muhammad Ali, once starred in a broad way musical! During his 43 months suspension from the ring, the champ took a musical turn by starring in the musical titled “Buck White.” However, this career was short-lived four nights later after just seven performances. Among the reviews of his performance was that; “He sings with a pleasant slightly impersonal voice, acts without embarrassment and moves with innate dignity.”
6. Spoken Word from the boxer!
Muhammad Ali did not only perform at a broadway musical, the very wordy boxer also recorded a spoken verse album. In this album, he applauded himself and ridiculed his opponents through traditional English poetry style by the use of iambic pentameter. In 1963, the spoken word album titled “I Am the Greatest” was released by the Columbia Records.
7. Inspiration from Malcom X!
The great boxer, Muhammad Ali’s life was not just inspired by a bicycle. Malcom X also had a role in inspiring the boxer. After defeating Liston, Cassius Clay the following morning renounced his surname which he termed as his “slave name”. He with Malcom X by his side announced that he had joined Islam religion and further proclaimed his new name as “Cassius X”. Later on he was religiously given the name “Muhammad Ali.”
8. Muhammad Ali was Irish
Oh well, not totally Irish! Apparently, Abe Grady who is said to be Muhammad Ali’s great grandpa was Irish by decent and only immigrated to the U.S. to settle in Kentucky around the 1860s. He then married a free slave. Ali’s mother was among their grandchildren.
9. Ali’s Gold Medal Lies in Ohio River
In his 1975 autobiography, Muhammad Ali Boxer states that upon returning to Louisville, he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River to protest the racism he was still facing in his hometown. This has been disputed by a number of his close friends who claim that the boxer only lost the medal. In the 1996 Summer Olympics, he was given a replacement gold medal.
10. Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle’
Muhammad Ali Boxer’s win against George Foreman in 1974 earned him another great title. In this match, Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko paid each fighter $5million in an attempt to promote a positive image of his country. The paid amount to the fighters was to entice them to have the fight in Zaire’s capital city of Kinshasa. To allow Americans to watch the fight ‘live’ during prime time, the match was set early before sunrise in Africa hence the name “Rumble in the Jungle”.