Essay on Arts: Muhammad Ali Center

Submitted By keyshaboo123
Words: 1032
Pages: 5

Muhammad Ali
Tracy Burden
Mr. Daniel
History: 152
July 23, 2013

Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., January 17, 1942) is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport's history. A controversial and even polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is today widely regarded not only for the skills he displayed in the ring but for the values he exemplified outside of it such as, religious freedom, racial justice and the triumph of principle over expedience. He is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in boxing history. Shortly after winning the title “heavy weight champion”, Ali joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name. He subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975, and later to Sufism. ( Ali had a highly unorthodox boxing style for a heavyweight, epitomized by his catchphrase "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Never an overpowering puncher, Ali relied early in his career on his superior hand speed., Superb reflexes and constant movement, dancing and circling opponents foremost of the fight , holding his hands low and lashing out with a quick, and a cutting left jab that he threw from a number of angles . His footwork was so strong that it was extremely difficult for opponents to cut down the ring and corner Ali against the ropes which Ali often flaunted with his movements and dancing with the “Ali shuffle”, a sort of center ring jig. Nicknamed the greatest, Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches. Notable among these were the first Liston fight, three with rival Joe Frazier, considered among the greatest in boxing history, and one with George Forman , where he regained titles he had been stripped of seven years earlier. Ali revolutionized the sport by the sheer power and magnetism of his personality. At a time when most fighters let their managers do the talking for their publication needs, Ali was articulate, witty, and loquacious. He easily controlled press conferences and interviews, spoke freely , intelligibly about issues unrelated to boxing and wrote rhymes that humorously denigrated his opponent’s and predicted the round in which “ They must fall”. ( Clay made his professional debut on October 29, 1960, winning a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker and from then until 1963, Clay amassed a record of 19-0 with 15 wins by knockout. He defeated many fighters, including Tony Esperti, Jim Robinson, and Henry Cooper. By late 1963 Clay had become the top contender for sonny Liston’s title and the outcome of the fight was one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. When clay won, he beamed the youngest boxer to take the title from a reining heavyweight champion ( Soon after, Clay was stripped of his title in 1967 for refusing military service on religious grounds during the Vietnam War. He claimed, "If going to war, and possible dying, would help twenty-two million blacks in this country gain freedom, justice and equality, I would join tomorrow." He also said that he would not help kill poor people in other countries when it’s happening to his own people in America, however, soon after he was allowed to resume fighting in 1970 and had his appeal of conviction upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. Ali regained the championship in a 1974 but with George Foreman. He lost the crown again in 1978 to Leon Spinks but regained it the same year, thus becoming the first man to win the title three times. Clay continued on with his life and married Belinda Boyd, who like Ali, converted to Islam and more recently to Sufism. Initially, Clay was refused entry to the nation of Islam due to his boxing career. However, after he won the championship…