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Muhammad Ali

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Essay title: Muhammad Ali

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. Do any of you know who that is? How about a Hall of Fame boxer with an overall record of 56-5( Not yet, well here is an obvious clue. He switched his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964(Ali) after his fight with Sonny Liston. Now do you know? I’m sure most of you know who that is, but for those of you that don’t I have done some research for you to explain and tell you more about this amazing boxer. I would like to share with you about his early life, his amazing career, and his dreadful disease.

Cassius Clay had an interesting early life. He was born on January 17, 1942(Hauser 1) in Louisville Kentucky. He was raised in poverty but was loved very much by his family especially his mother. She would take him to church every Sunday to thank God for saving them and keeping them afloat in life. Cassius religion was brought up here. Cassius also had a lot of fun with his brother. He would often go to parks and play pick up games or just sit in a parking lots and have his brothers throw rocks at him so he could doge them and gain good quickness. But with this of going to parks he would often hear the word Nigger being referred to him and he would be asked to leave. He was always confused about this because he knew he did nothing wrong so why did people be so mean to him. He wanted to make a difference.

After his bike was stolen when he was 12, he reported it to a police officer. This mans name was Joe Martin. He saw Clay’s ferociousness and his competitiveness and took him in and trained him to be a boxer. He then gave him over to his main trainer, Fred Stoner. He would train 6 days a week with him and Clay was very committed to being a boxer. Stoner knew Clay was something special so he worked very hard with him. Clay then started to fight in amateur leagues and he did phenomenal. Over the next six years from when he was 12 Clay won six Kentucky Golden Gloves Championships, two National Golden Glove Titles, and 2 AAU crowns.

With all this victories this helped him represent the United States in the 1960 Summer Olympic Games in Rome. He won three straight matches to face a favorite Zbigniew Pietrzy Kowski of Poland(Meyers). Though the underdog Clay upset the huge mongrel and won gold. Clay felt so much pride as he stood on that pedestal for his country. Clay hoped with him winning it for his country that his discrimination would stop. Unfortunately when he came home to the United States he was still refused food at a local Diner. Clay was so upset with this that he took his Medal and chucked it into the Ohio River where it is still today. Even though upset he realizes he is great and signs with Louisville Sponsoring for a $10,000 signing bonus and $333 a month(Remmick). The Louisville Scout Archie Moore then takes Ali to a camp for him to work on his defense. He works hard and becomes much better. This is where he got his famous quote “Float like a butterfly, Sting like a Bee.” This basically means that his technique was to move quick so the opponent would get tired and when he is weak attack fast and hard just like a bee. That is what Ali was famous for, his quickness.

Throughout his early training Ali started to fight. He won his first 19 matches but his first real opponent came against Sonny Liston in 1964. Ali was a little cocky making fun of Liston but he ended up proving to the world that he could beat the Champ. After the fight he did something that most people remember his for. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali and announced to the whole world about it. Most people tried to shut it out but some let it in. You might ask why he changed his name. The reason was he belonged to a peace religion called the Black Muslims. The leaders name was Elijah Muhammad so Ali used it and made his own name. Some people believed that since he is about peace that he won’t be a good fighter anymore. Well it did seem like it at first because in 1965 he looses to Floyd Patterson. But Ali was far from being a bad boxer. He soon got his revenge on Patterson one month later. With this victory America is seeing him as Americas Boxer and this was a huge stepping stone for Ali because this is what he wanted all along, respect(Myers).

But then he looses a lot of his respect in April of 1964. Ali refuses to go into the Army and says he has no problems with the Vietnams. The Supreme Court finds him guilty of Draft Evasion and fines his

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