English Boxing

Portrait of the boxer Muhammad Ali

There are legends in all disciplines and in all arts. In the field of boxing, boxer Muhammad Ali is one of them. His real name was Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. He was born in Louisville on January 17, 1942 and died in Scottsdale, Arizona on June 3, 2016. He was a boxer who competed in the heavyweight category. He took the name Muhammad Ali when he joined the organization Nation of Islam in 1965 at 22 years old. He was then converted to Islam.

Muhammad Ali is considered one of the greatest boxers of all time. He is a cultural icon who has known both the good times of glory in the ring and the darker times. At the age of 18, he became an international celebrity when he became the Olympic light heavyweight champion at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He also lost his boxing license for refusing to join the United States Army during the Vietnam War. During nearly 4 years, he did not fight.

The Greatest, as he was nicknamed, appealed to the American Supreme Court until the decision was overturned. He then became the first triple heavyweight champion of the world. He kept on winning every combat. The 6’3″ boxer has been the role model for many other boxers and for very good reasons! Besides being a master of the sport, he had a defiant personality and a penchant for showmanship. A close-up look at this boxing icon!

The boxer’s biography: childhood, early life

Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay was born in Kentucky to Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr and Odessa Lee Clay. He grew up in Louisville, a black neighborhood in the United States. His mother worked as a cook for wealthy white families and as a maid. His father sold commercial and religious prints.

The Clay’s were not wealthy, but they had the means to provide a good education for their children. When he was 12 years old, young Cassius had his bicycle stolen. Furious, he told a policeman that he intended to give the thief a good beating. The policeman told him that the best way to defend himself would be to learn how to box.

Following the policeman’s advice, Cassius Jr. started boxing lessons, and a few weeks later won his first fight. He was always grateful to Joseph Elsby Martin Sr., his coach, for guiding him in the right direction

The career of boxer Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was the winner of the National Golden Gloves amateur middleweight title in 1959. In 1960, he won the heavyweight title at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. It was then under the tutelage of Angelo Dundee that he turned professional and became known for his original style, his self-promotion and his incredible results. Muhammad Ali was an undefeated boxer. No matter the opponent, this boxing champion earned multiple belts and victories.

In the heavyweight category, Ali ruled everything and everyone from 1964 to 1967. After his victory against Liston, he made numerous exhibitions around the world with his training partners. On November 22, 1965, Ali fought Floyd Patterson. The boxer Muhammad Ali retained his title after 12 rounds and knocked the challenger down several times. In 1966, he fought 4 times, whereas usually he fought only twice a year. In London, he multiplied his victories and ended the year by knocking out Cleveland Williams in Houston.

The WBA federation, having grievances against boxer Muhammad Ali because of his political positions, took away his belt under the pretext of the illegality of the fight. Without his consent, the title was awarded to Ernie Terrell. However, Ali was still the undisputed world champion, so he kept his WBC belt. He officially recovered his title on February 6, 1967, in a fight against Terrell. Because of his refusal to join the U.S. Army, Ali was not allowed to participate in any further world championship. He was only able to participate in an exhibition in Detroit on June 15.

Boxer Muhammad Ali
Boxer Muhammad Ali

A distinctive fighting style

For a heavyweight boxer, Muhammad Ali’s boxing style is rather similar to that of the middleweights. He keeps his hands down at his sides instead of up to protect his face. He relies on his reflexes and reach, rarely staying in a defensive position. He easily dodges his opponents’ blows and has fluid footwork. He is focused, precise and his movements are light and flexible.

Whatever type of boxing you do (Kick, Thai, savate, amateur boxing, English boxing, kickboxing,), if you want to improve as a professional boxer, always keep in mind the words of Muhammad Ali: ” Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee “.

Muhammad Ali, more than a boxer, a man of conviction

The image that the boxer Muhammad Ali leaves in the hearts of all his fans is undoubtedly that of strength and self-sacrifice which he put into his actions. He was not afraid to show his political choices and to refuse whatever did not suit him. This boxing champion who became world champion at the age of 22 was a dedicated person. Beyond his quest for victory and glory, he was in search of his own identity.

When Ali was not in the ring, he was fighting racism against black people. It is in this struggle that he met Malcolm X, leader of the Black Muslims at the time. He converted to Islam and that’s how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali.

However, the life and career of the “greatest” took a more or less dangerous turn when he refused to fight in Vietnam in 1967. In 1974, he became world champion again in Kinshasa against George Foreman. The legend retired from fighting in 1981 and devoted himself to humanitarian causes.

In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The motor functions of the world champion of boxing progressively stopped working. At the age of 74, the boxer Muhammad Ali died at the HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center. He was hospitalized there due to respiratory problems.

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