Facts Why Muhammad Ali was ‘The Greatest’
- Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Junior on 17 January 1942, after joining Nation of Islam in 1964, the legendary boxer changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
- One of the greatest turning points in Ali’s career came when the 22-year- boxer beat the former heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston, in Miami Beach, Florida, on February 25, 1964.
- For three years, Muhammad Ali had been suspended from boxing after he declined to join the U.S. military during the 1967 Vietnam War for religious reasons. The heavyweight champion was arrested, and the New York State Athletic Commission promptly revoked his boxing license.
- His most famous fights included the one he won in an eight-round ko against the unbeaten 25-year-old champion George Foreman in 1974 to reclaim the heavyweight championship which had been stripped of him during his 1967 suspension.
- Ali dominated sports two decades ahead of time and Parkinson’s Disease, caused by thousands of hits to the brain, destroyed his glorious body, silenced his powerful voice and ended his storied career in 1981.
- He fought in three separate decades, finished with a 56-5 record and 37 knockouts and became the first man to win three heavyweight titles.
- In his autobiography, The Greatest: My Own Story, Ali claimed that after being denied service at a ‘white-only’ restaurant and battling with a white gang, he threw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio River.
- His thrilling 1975 fight with Zoe Frazier, known as ‘Thrilla in Manila,’ is considered one of the best boxing battles ever. Ali won in the fifteenth round of that fight.
- Muhammad Ali developed Parkinson’s disease because of the injuries that he suffered throughout his career.
- BBC crowned Ali as ‘Sports Personality of the Century’ in 1999, while Sports Illustrated called the three-time heavyweight champion ‘Sportsman of the Century.’
- On 8 March 1971, at Madison Square Garden, Ali lost the first professional fight of his life to Frazier. The battle has been known as ‘The Century War.’
- Married four times, Ali has two sons and seven daughters.
Why Muhammad Ali was ‘The Greatest’
The legacy of Muhammad Ali went far beyond being merely a world-famous heavyweight boxer; he fought against injustice and equal rights. However, as someone who said: ‘I am the best, I said Ali welcomed some scrutiny even before I realized I was.’ This has been especially true with respect to social problems outside the ring.
Here are some reasons why he was just a decent boxer.
Why Muhammad Ali was ‘the best’
Stats prove otherwise
Ali was a great fighter who had an immense influence on American culture, but his boxing numbers show he wasn’t the greatest boxer. For his 61 fights, Ali won 56, and 37 of those were knockouts. Whilst these are fantastic numbers, it was better for other boxers: Harry Greb won 262 fights!), (Sugar Ray Robinson won 173, and Harry Armstrong won 150. Rocky Marciano weren’t losing a fight.
The nature of the fights makes a big difference in a sport like boxing, because any fight is injurious and dangerous. A closer look at Armstrong and Robinson’s boxing stats shows they have faced better fighters than Ali did at the time.
His reputation is primarily due to his out-of-the-ring deeds
Being called the greatest would be about the fighting skills of Ali. Some, however, associate these with his out-of-the-ring deeds. Ali changed the world. He was a fighter for democracy and opposed bigotry. He also had charisma and elegance which were unparalleled. He was a self-promotion master, and smart enough to know how to use the media for his purposes. For his brave and picturesque figure this made him loved by fans and the media.
That all produced a mythical figure. The picture of Ali was one of an uncontested champion, a human larger than life. It doesn’t say though that he was the greatest fighter. He himself once claimed Sugar Ray Robinson was great.
The Bottom Line: Muhammad Ali was the best and the prettiest of all boxers. But he was also a controversial figure, and wasn’t the biggest boxer to enter the ring. And what do you think, numbers or charisma What will decide the reputation of his boxers and others.
This is Why Muhammad Ali was ‘The Greatest’
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