Muhammed Ali | The Most professional Muslim boxer
Our article in (Ustadhi) will be about a distinguished person, he is considered one of the most significant sportspeople, the American boxer Muhammed Ali.
What do you know about Muhammad Ali?
Muhammed Ali, his birth name was(Cassius Marcellus Clay). He was the greatest boxer in the 20 century, he additionally was a social activist. He was born in (Louisville Kentucky)in the American south on 14 January 1942 and died on 3 June 2016. His father worked in the field of painting signs and billboards and his mother worked as a household domestic.
The early life of Muhammed Ali:
He attended the central high school and he was dyslexic, so he found problems and difficulties in reading and writing and
he was suffering from racial segregation. He discovered his boxing talent and started training with coach Joe Martin at age of twelve as an amateur (non-professional) boxer, he was known for his speed and fancy footwork. Once he became eighteen he won a gold medal in the heavyweight in the 1960 summer athletics and became professional after this year and he became Muslim in 1961.
When he became 22 years he got the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in 1964, and after two months from this winning, he Stated that he no longer would be known as (Cassius Clay) but as( Mohammed Ali) and he loved people use it during speaking to him, in 1966 he refused military service, because of the ethical opposition to the Vietnam war and faced three years in the prison as a result of this refusing but he became free while appealing his conviction.
Unfortunately, he became unable to compete professionally and missed his boxing career because of prison, but he didn’t lose hope and decided to come back to the ring and he won(Jerry Quarry). In June 1971 the supreme court overturned the conviction.
The most important fight in Muhammad Ali’s life:
This professional and skilled boxer had fifty-six wins, thirty-seven knockouts and only five losses before his retirement.
He was named (the greatest) and he loved to sing his praises. He described himself as a butterfly when flying and as a bee when stinging. Some of the well-known and important matches include:
- fight with Joe Fraizer:
1n 1971, Muhammed Ali challenged Joe Fraizer in a match called ( The fight of the century), they went toe_to _toe for 14 rounds but Ali dropped in 15th, because of left hook although he recovered quickly the judgment awarded the choice to Joe Fraizer and this was initial loss after 31 wins, he didn’t lose hope and beat Joe in 1974 rematch.
- fight with George Foreman:
Another distinguished Ali fight happened in 1974 against the championship George Foreman which was described as (Rumble in the jungle) held in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali was seen as the underdog and the massive Foreman but he silenced these thoughts by his excellent performance, he baited Foreman by his technique (rope-a-dope) to be able to reclaim the heavyweight title.
- Fight with Leon Spinks:
After losing in Feb 1978, Muhammed Ali defeated Spinks in Sep 1978 rematch and have become the first boxer to obtain the heavyweight championships 3 times.
Muhammed Ali and Islam :
The first time he heard about Islam was in the Golden Gloves tournament in Chicago, he was attending Islamic meetings hidden from people then he met Malcolm x who was a spiritual mentor, he played an avital role in Muhammad Ali’s religious life and directed him to the Islam.
Muhammed Ali’s wives and children:
Muhammed Ali married four wives and had seven daughters and two sons. His first wife (Sonji Roi) refused to join Islam so they divorced without children.
The second wife was(Belinda Boyd), and they had four children and divorced in 1976. The third wife was (Veronica Porche) and they had two daughters, then they divorced in 1986. The fourth and final wife was (Lonnie) they were still married until his death and they had one son.
The Parkinson’s disease and death:
Muhammed Ali announced in 1984 that he had Parkinson’s disease, despite the progression of this disease he was still active in his life and made his efforts to raise money for Muhammed Ali Parkinson centre..this center is devoted to telling the story of the life of Muhammed Ali and spreading the great values such as hope and respect. He had to make surgery on his spinal stenosis and as a result, spine narrowing occurred which affected and reduced the movement and his ability to communicate with people, he died on 2 June 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona (74 years old).
The awards which Muhammed Ali obtained :
- He got the medal of freedom from President George Bush in 2005.
- He obtained the president’s award from NAACP due to his great efforts in public service.
Muhammed Ali devoted most of his time to a lot of good and charity works such as :
. His support to the Special Olympics organization.
. He travelled to many countries like Morocco and Mexico to help people in need and as a result, he was chosen to be the messenger of the united nations.
Muhammed Ali was a good model for Muslim youth, he challenged a lot of conditions to build his name and made his efforts to be in the right place, he made the Muslim community proud of him, he loved his religion and spread the beautiful humanity values that present in Islam. And we will continue in writing about these good Muslim examples in (Ustadhi).