Saturday, January 7, 2012

CareerGraphy of Boxer Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali began boxing in 1954, when he was 12 years old. He retired in 1981, one month shy of his 40th birthday. Ali, the first three-time world heavyweight champion, held the title from 1964 to 1967, from 1974 to February 1978 and from September 1978 into 1979. There's no real definition of Ali's "early boxing career," but an easy defining point is April 28, 1967, the day he was stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army. He wasn't allowed to fight again until late 1970.

Ali's boxing career began by accident. He didn't have any interest in the sport when he was growing up as Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, but he had the good fortune of reporting the theft of his bicycle to a police officer who was also a boxing trainer. Joe Martin listened to Clay threaten to harm the thieves and persuaded the 12-year-old to train with him at the Columbia Gym in Louisville. In high school, Clay began training with Fred Stoner, who taught him the importance of footwork.
Olympic Champion
Clay, who grew to be 6 feet 3 inches tall, is said to have devoted more time to boxing than school. His effort paid off, as he won two national and six state Golden Glove titles and a national Amateur Athletic Union title. He fought in various weight classes as he grew, but he was a light heavyweight (between 165 and 178 pounds) when he won the U.S. Olympic Trials competition in 1960. At the Olympics in Rome, he was one of three American boxers to win a gold medal; he defeated Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland via unanimous decision in the three-round championship.
Rising Star
Clay was a heavyweight when he beat Tunney Hunsaker via unanimous decision in six rounds in his pro debut on October 29, 1960. Clay was 15-0 when he fought former light heavyweight champion Archie Moore on November 15, 1962. By this time, Clay had nicknamed himself "The Greatest" and was predicting the round in which his fights would end. Clay became one of the top contenders for the heavyweight title by beating Moore via technical knockout in the fourth round. In 1963, he beat Charley Powell, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper to earn a title shot against Sonny Liston.
Clay promoted the fight with Liston by chanting "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" for weeks. On February 25, 1964, he won the title by beating Liston in the seventh round via technical knockout. Shortly afterward, he announced he was a Muslim and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. These conversions harmed his popularity, but he defended his title against ex-champions Liston and Floyd Patterson in 1965. In 1966, Ali beat George Chuvalo, Cooper, Brian London, Karl Mildenberger and Cleveland Williams. In 1967, he defended his title for the eighth and ninth times (against Ernie Terrell and Zora Folley) before he lost the title for refusing to join the Army.

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