Before he was a legend, Muhammad Ali was a kid from Louisville with big dreams. He fell in love with boxing at an early age and began training when he was 12 years old.
By his 20s, he had won gold at the 1964 Olympics and become the top contender for the world heavyweight title. But in 1966, things soured for Ali. The New York State Boxing Commission revoked his license for failing to report his change of address, which made him unable to fight in New York. An offer to box champion Floyd Patterson fell through when Patterson suffered a concussion during training that kept his side lined indefinitely.
Following this, Ali appeared before the media as a member of the Nation of Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. A year later, however, Ali was un-retired and returned to boxing as “the greatest fighter of all time” – inspiring millions with his unique combination of faith and fearlessness. Just like Muhammad Ali, you can also knock the boredom out of your life, visit the Ice Casino and explore a world of opportunities.
The Way He Promoted His Fights
In 1968, Ali’s promoters created “The Fight of the Century” between Ali and fellow heavyweight champion Joe Frazier. The fight took place at the New York Philharmonic, Madison Square Garden and the L.A. Sports Arena. It was the first time a fight was broadcasted to such a large international audience. Frazier and Ali made an estimated $5 million each. One of the most iconic images of the fight was a photo of the two boxers taken from below the ring during the weigh-in. It showed the scale of their legs going down into the ground and became known as the “legs above ground rule.” Ali’s fighting name was also a marketing tactic. He called himself “The Greatest” and “The People’s Champion” in an effort to increase his popularity and promote his fights.
Ali’s Boxing Skills
Ali’s unique boxing style and his ability to think outside the ring made him a dangerous opponent for any boxer. He was known for his ability to dance around the ring. Ali took fighting out of the ring as well. In 1967, he was arrested and convicted for dodging the draft and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released on appeal in 1971, but his boxing license was revoked. Ali returned to the ring in October of 1971 in a non-title fight against Jerry Quarry.
After the loss of his boxing license, Ali began training in a new martial art called “Freestyle” (a combination of kickboxing and wrestling). His training and skill allowed him to win the gold medal at the Rome Olympics in 1960. He was the first fighter to win a gold medal in boxing while still an amateur.
Iconic wins against:
- Chuck Wepner (TKO 15, March 24, 1975)
- Earnie Shavers (UD 15, Sept. 29, 1977)
- Ernie Terrell (UD 15, Feb. 6, 1967)
- Leon Spinks (UD 15, Sept. 15, 1978)
- Cleveland Williams (TKO 3, Nov. 14, 1966)
- Sonny Liston (TKO 7, Feb. 25, 1964)
- George Foreman (KO 8, Oct. 30, 1974)
His Impact on the World of Sports
In 1967, Muhammad Ali was at the top of his game. He had won the heavyweight title three years earlier, and he was still unbeaten. He was convicted of draft evasion, stripped of his boxing title and received a five-year suspended prison sentence. But as soon as his suspension was lifted in 1971, Ali returned to the ring, and he did it his way.
He challenged the world of sports and its institutions – including sports media and marketing and the finances behind it. He used his fame and his followers to create change. He didn’t believe that athletes should be treated like ‘slaves’ and that they weren’t given enough of a share of the profits from sports. He thought that the sports world needed a shake-up and that he was the one to do it. There are three aspects that made Ali’s impact on the world of sports so remarkable. The first is that as an athlete, he challenged the system.
The second is that he used his fame and fortune to help others. And the third is that he was a peacemaker who used his voice to speak out against injustice.
Muhammad Ali changed the world of sports, and he did it his way. He challenged the system, he used his fame and fortune to help others, and he used his voice to speak out against injustice. He was a champion of racial equality, a believer in human rights, and a friend to those who needed his support. He inspired millions with his unique combination of faith and fearlessness.