Cassius Clay’s (Muhammad Ali) career started all because someone stole his bicycle so he wanted to “whup” whoever stole his bike. In 1954, he went to a boxing gym in Louisville, Kentucky run by policeman Joe Martin. So Joe Martin started to train Cassius to box. Later Cassius made his amateur ring debut win against another amateur named Ronnie O’Keefe. By 1959, the twelve year old Cassius had won all the major amateur boxing titles in America.
In 1960, Cassius had qualified for a spot in the U.S boxing Olympic team. After winning three preliminary bouts, Cassius beat Zbigniew Pietrzkowski from Poland to win the light heavyweight gold medal for America less than 6 years after his bike was stolen!
On October 24, 1960 Cassius signed a contract with a group of Louisville businessmen to become a professional boxer. Later Cassius won his first professional debut against an experienced fighter named Tunney Hunsaker.
After winning fight after fight, Cassius had a record of 19-0. This was when he earned the chance to fight the hard-hitting heavyweight champion of the world, Sonny Liston. Despite being the underdog Cassius won against Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight championship title at the age of 22.
The Liston fight changed everything for Cassius. Cassius Clay announced a member of the nation of Islam and a week later he also had changed his name to the Muslim name Muhammad Ali which means “Praiseworthy one.” Ali was later drafted to the US army. Ali refuses military service because he claimed that his religion beliefs prohibit fighting in Vietnam. Ali was found guilty of refusing induction into the armed forces and striped of his title and his boxing license for 3 years.
After the three year suspension Ali got back to boxing and had an amazing fight with Jerry Quarry. Even after he lost three good years of his boxing career Ali won the fight with a surprise right hook in the third round that ended the fight. In March...
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