Muhammad Ali’s mega profile put the world in awe of his athletic career and humanitarianism. Originally named Cassius Clay, Ali was a natural phenomenon, showing traits of both a fighter and a compassionate human being, even as a young child.
Young Cassius had a new red Schwinn bicycle, which was great to roll along. He would love to take multiple jaunts on his new ride on the streets of Louisville. The impression of a new bike thrill on a 12-year-old is pretty evident, so you can imagine how upset a 12-year-old child would be when losing his bike. What was quite unusual was Cassius’s reaction: He rushed to the police station and reported the theft. His love for the bike and intolerance against crime drove him to this course of action.
Clay was clearly upset and probably, more than being upset he was fuming in anger so badly that he vowed to whup the guy who stole it. Post the F.I.R., the person he met was the police officer Joe Martin (also a boxing trainer). Impressed with the agility of the little kid, Martin threw a piece of advice at him. Martin asked Ali to know the skill of fighting before vowing and swearing. The officer told Clay in the gym, “you better learn how to box first.”
It would not be wrong to count Martin amongst the best discoverers of the world since he pulled off the spotting of the No. 1 World Champion at a very early age
Martin’s words turned into a milestone as Cassius had concreted the thought of becoming a combatant in his head. So much so that within the next 6 months when Cassius didn’t even weigh more than 100 pounds (45.36 kg), he trained hard and went on for a match-up. With his killing moves and stupendous pace he emerged victorious. Muhammad’s first-ever victory from his first-ever fight helped him sketch out his whole career plan.
Now the young gun was in no mood to stop, the first fight had given him the taste of victory. Very little did Clay know that the same taste would become his staple diet in the coming years. He began his training with nothing but world titles in mind. Soon after, one more time, at the age of 18, Clay had the world bowing down to him as he won the Gold in the light heavyweight division at 1960 Rome Summer Olympics.
Things were turning up as Clay wanted them to be thanks to his impressive skills and talent as a fighter. Eyeing on arguably the biggest title in a boxer’s career, Cassius Clay began his preparation for what would be one of the most famed and controversial bouts in history. It was his 1964’s bout against the best in the class, Sonny Liston, for the World Heavyweight title.
He was fighting from the underdog end with odds (7-1) stacked up against him. Daunting champion Sonny Liston took the fight to the 5th round successfully but the 6th round saw Clay’s sheer dominance and Liston dwindling. Consequently, just as the 7th round bell rung, Liston gave in sitting on the stool. The world just witnessed wonder, Clay was declared the new heavyweight champion by technical knockout and the most intimidating man of his days had been dethroned.
In the wake of victory, Clay would do something that would find its place as one of the most popular post-fight celebrations, he ran to sportswriters shouting, “Eat your words, I shook up the world and I’m the greatest.” And he kept repeating.
In the post-fight conference, Clay said about the fight, “Look at me not a mark on me. I could never be an underdog. I’m too great. Hail the champion!”
Following his victory, he changed his name a couple of times but what stuck was Muhammad Ali. The legend was renamed, and he was on his way to pour in some more victories, and break the ceilings of glories.
2001 biographical sports drama, Ali starring Will Smith as Muhammad Ali features Ali’s greatest battles and his stance in the United States. Throughout his career, he remained the headline often as a winner and sometimes as a controversial figure too. Besides being a sportsperson, Ali always assumed his duties as a responsible citizen. He was one of the great philanthropists back in the days, donating millions for the uplifting of disadvantaged people. An extreme believer in good deeds, Ali lent a helping hand to the nation whenever they needed him.
Muhammad Ali was sort of dogmatic in his ways, he would go to the great beyond for his belief. The remarkable pages in history that he wrote are always energizing to flip through.