Ali the Boxer Essay

Submitted By drt123
Words: 905
Pages: 4

Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, is one of the greatest quotes said by legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, and Jack Johnson embodied what this quote means by being quick, powerful, and above all, being a champion. These men have stood the test of time and hardships of racism in White America. They have all triumphed and made a difference in the sport of boxing as we know it today. These three boxers have paved the way politically, religiously, and racial for the Black culture. Jack Johnson is the first African American boxer to win the heavyweight champion of the world title. Johnson boxed from 1897 to 1928 professionally. Jack Johnson had a flamboyant lifestyle that contradicted his race, and because of it there was a great deal of controversy and rioting. Before he fought Burns, Johnson faced racial discrimination and had limited opportunities to fight White boxers. When Johnson won the title of the heavyweight champion of the world America was in desperate need for a “Great White Hope” to come in and take the title from him. When Johnson won the title he knocked out Tommy Burns and he lost the title when was knocked out by Jess Willard. Joe Louis started his career in 1934 and was undefeated for his first twenty-two fights. Louis’s trainers wanted him to be the complete opposite of his predecessor boxer Jack Johnson. In his contract his trainers gave him a set of rules to abide by to diffuse some of the racism that plagued Jack Johnson in his boxing career that would make him appealing to White Americans. Those rules included to never have his picture taken with a white woman, never to smile and gloat over a white opponent when he beat him in the ring, never engage in fixed fights, and to always live and fight clean. Louis gave the Black community tremendous energy and pride; he was the epitome of racial pride and a hero to all. Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942, as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. He is known as one of the greatest boxers of all time and referred to himself as such. Ali is known for boasting about his skills in the ring before a fight and being more than confident about himself. Ali did some spiritual searching and eventually became a member of the black Muslim group, the Nation of Islam, at this time he changed his name to Muhammad Ali which means worthy of all praise (Muhammad) and most highest (Ali). While in his career he was drafted to the military and refused to participate because of the Muslim religion, which enabled him from fighting in the War. Ali soon began to place his religion and personal values above all things in his career. The U.S. Department of Justice summoned Ali to court and was found guilty of refusing to join the military. Eventually Ali cleared his name. Even though he won the court battle in the end, his boxing career was put on hold due to the boxing association taking away his title and suspending him from boxing for three and half years. Ali’s comeback to boxing was in 1970 and he won when he knocked out Jerry Quarry. Ali defeated the heavyweight champion George Foreman and took his title of heavyweight champion of the world back. Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali were all great boxers of