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Muhammad Ali – legendary boxer

Muhammad Ali – legendary boxer

Muhammad Ali – legendary boxer

Muhammad Ali is American professional boxer, one of the most famous and recognizable fighters in world boxing history. He was the only professional boxer to win the heavyweight championship three times.
Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, the USA. His father, Cassius Clay, Sr., was a frustrated artist who painted signs for a living.
In 1954, Cassius Clay learned to box at a gym in Louisville, Kentucky. He was only 12 years old. At the gym, he met a trainer who taught him to move with light, quick steps, Cassius had a natural talent for boxing. Throughout the 1950s, he appeared on a local television program Tomorrow’s Champions. He was paid four dollars for each televised match.
In 1959, Clay won the National Golden Gloves title. The next year, he won an Olympic gold medal and became a professional boxer.

On February 15, 1964, in Miami, Florida, when he was only 22 years old, he fought and defeated Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship of the world.
Then he changed his faith and became a Muslim. He also changed his name to Muhammad Ali, which means ‘beloved of Allah’.

Cassius Clay

Cassius Clay in 1954. Associated Press

By the close of the 1960s, Ali had become one of the most celebrated men on the planet.
In 1967, Ali refused to go into the army and fight in the Vietnam War because of the religious. He was convicted of breaking the law. His title was taken from him and he was not allowed to box again until 1970.
In 1974, Ali became champion again.
In the 1980s, Ali told the world that he had a Parkinson’s disease, which affects the brain and the muscles.
In 1998-2008 he was engaged in social and charitable activities.
In 1999, Sports Illustrated and the BBC called Ali “Athlete of the century.”
At the end of the career, he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame (1987) and the International Boxing Hall of Fame (1990).
At the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Ali was chosen to light the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies.
Great boxer died on June 3, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. He was 74 years old.

Ali - black butterfly

Ali – black butterfly

Personal life
His first wife was waitress Sonji Roi. They married a month after the first meeting. On June 23, 1965 the couple filed for divorce.

Ali and his first wife Sonji Roi, 1964. Associated Press

Ali and his first wife Sonji Roi, 1964. Associated Press

On August 17, 1967 Ali married Belinda Boyd, who soon after the wedding, converted to Islam and changed her name to Khalilah Ali. The couple had four children.
Fashion model Veronica Porsche became the third wife of Ali. Their first daughter was born in 1976. Their second daughter, Laila Ali was born in 1977 and became absolute boxing champion. In 1986, Ali and Veronica divorced.

Ali and Veronica Porsche

Ali and Veronica Porsche

On November 19, 1986 Ali married Iolanthe “Lonnie” Williams. The couple adopted a five-year-old Asaad Amin who became a baseball player.
Ali has two illegitimate daughters: Mia (born in 1972) and Calia (born in 1974).

Muhammad Ali – legendary boxer