When one thinks of boxing, one would automatically think of Muhammad Ali. No one has redefined the world of boxing as much as this phenom has. True to form, Ali’s career has been nothing short of amazing. In the history of boxing, no one has ever defeated more champions and top contenders than this heavyweight. He has certainly come a long way from being an underdog to boxing’s all-time greatest.
The great Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. The young Cassius would take an interest in the sport after his bike was fated to be stolen by a thief. As a young boy, Cassius was determined to learn how to box so he could give the thief a good “whopping.” It was then that the fighter’s fervor for the sport would begin.
The Kentucky native would prove to the world that he was the greatest in what he was doing when he made his debut in 1960. During his early career, Cassius would prove to be invincible, having been knocked down only twice. Cocky and arrogant, the young Cassius would work his way to the top until he finally seized the opportunity when he became the top contender for the heavyweight crown against Sonny Liston.
Ever bold and brash, Cassius would often taunt Liston calling him, “a big ugly bear.” This bout would give birth to Cassius’ popular and clever wordplay, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The world waited with bated breath as to who would win. Cassius would dominate the fight in most of the rounds. However, during the fourth round, it seemed that dirty tactics were at play when Cassius began to feel a burning sensation in his eyes. This proved to be futile; as Cassius would respond to Liston’s cheating tactics with a flurry of punches. By the seventh round, Liston would refuse to answer the bell and Cassius was then declared the winner.
Cassius would later change his name to Muhammad Ali, after having been converted to Islam. He would later challenge the world, as he would force discussions on controversial and eyebrow raising issues such as religion and race.
Ali is now battling Parkinson’s disease, an illness accredited to the blows he received during his grueling career. Living the quiet life now, this fighter lives his life with as much bravery and determination as he did in the ring. He still stands tall and proud… Unwavering… A testament to the world that he is indeed the greatest.