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Biographical essay : Muhammad Ali’s Life
It is hard to find a person that does not know anything about Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali was a legend, an example to follow for many beginners in boxing and general public. His strong character and standard rod fascinated millions of people for whom Ali was the example of the never-giving-up hero. Muhammad Ali was an American boxer and activist who is remembered as one of the most controversial personalities of the 20th century.
Muhammad Ali whose actual name was Cassius Clay was born in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 1942, in a family of Black Americans of African descent. The boy was brought up in the atmosphere of racial segregation, which had an influence on his character and future career. The mother of Clay told various occasions of racial discrimination. For example, the boy was denied to have a glass of water in a store because of his skin color. Clay was directed to boxing coach by a police officer during a case of beating the thief of his bicycle. The officer saw a talent in a boy and suggested to use this talent in a right destination. At that time, Muhammad Ali was 12 years old. This was an unofficial start of his boxing career. His boxing debut was in 1954. In the following six years a boy won 100 battles among which were the six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union national title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He lost only 5 battles during these 6 years. Despite the superficial boxing records, Clay encountered the cases of racial discrimination. When he came back after his win in Rome, he threw the medal in Ohio river because he was refused a service at a “whites-only” restaurant.
At the age of 22, Clay won the first title in the heavyweight championship by technical knockout in sixth round. His competitor, Liston did not answer the bell ring for the seventh round. A year after, in 1965, Clay defended his title in a fight against Floyd Patterson.The fight lasted 12 rounds and ended in a technical knockout. The next fights were with Ernie Terrel, George Chuvalo, Henry Cooper, Brian London, and Karl Mildenberger. The next battle was one of the most beautiful wins in Ali’s career. He fought Clevelend Williams, once considered the most professional boxer in the heavyweight category. The fight eresulted in technical knockout in the third round. In 1967, Ali fought Terrel. This was one of the hardest fights since his first heavyweight fight with Liston. Terrel was unbeaten for five years on a row. Terrel called Ali “Clay” as a reminder of his slave roots. When Ali dominated Terrel and beat him in eights round, he shouted: “What’s my name?”. This was a cruel fight, Terrel was bleeding, but at the same time, it was the revenge for the discrimination.
Ali’s career was suspended along with the suspend of his boxing license in almost all states. This happened after his refusal to join armed forces. With the growing opposition to Vietnam War, Ali gained more sympathy by advocating racial justice. In 1970 Ali was granted a license to box in the city of Atlanta. Further, his license in the New York was renewed. On March 8, 1971 the “Fight of the Century” between Ali and Joe Frazier took place at Madison Garden Square in New York City. Both unbeatable heavyweight champions were determined to win the battle. The battle also had a political meaning. Ali was pro-left anti-war supporter, while Frazier supported conservative pro-war movement. The 15-round fight ended up in the first professional loss for Ali. However, he refused to accept the defeat. Later, Ali became the heavyweight champion in the second round.
After several successful fights, Ali announced his retirement from boxing in 1979. But, short after he decided to come back. He was not in a good shape, and his comeback was a total failure. Moreover, the physical losses he received in the last three fights contributed to the development of Parkinson disease. After Ali ended his professional career as a boxer, he still took part in many public activities. Ali traveled to Iraq to negotiate with Saddam Hussein. Later, he was sent as the United Nations Messenger of Peace to Afghanistan. Ali also cooperated with Fox with an aim to raise awareness about the Parkinson disease and sponsor the research. The life of the prominent boxing hero ended on June 3, 2016 at the age of 74 years old.
The life of the legend in boxing Muhammad Ali was an example of the fight against racial discrimination. He showed by personal example that black people can reach the heights in the professional development. Muhammad Ali was a skillful, talented boxer who strived for excellence and never gave up.
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