Exactly 55 years ago (March 6, 1964) one of the most famous boxers in the history of mankind legendary Cassius Clay took another name – Muhammad Ali. In honor of the date, we recall the 10 most interesting facts about your favorite heavyweight. Ali developed his own style, moving around the ring on his toes and dodging enemy attacks, which created the effect of dance. His famous phrase “I flutter like a butterfly, I regret like a bee” was an example to follow for many modern boxers. After winning the Olympics in 1960, he never stopped winning a victory over his opponents. Among the 31 professional fights he conducted over the course of 10 years, he did not know of a single defeat, and in all his life he lost only 5 fights out of 61.
In his entire career, Ali has beaten three Olympic champions and nine professional champions. He is a three-time WBA champion who perfectly mastered the art of psychological influence on an opponent. Ali launched an attack on his opponent in the press, writing poetry and predicting in which round he would win. Much has been written about the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali; however, little-known facts remain in his biography that capture and intrigue. The biographer and friend of an outstanding athlete Davis Miller told five interesting stories from the life of an athlete. Clay started boxing at the age of 12, after he stole a red bicycle from the Schwinn Bicycle Company, which he bought with money earned. The day after the purchase, Cassius and a friend went to the fair, where children were treated to ice cream for free. Going home, he found that his bicycle had been stolen. Clay was very upset and at that moment met white police officer Joe Martin, telling him that he would beat the one who stole his bike, to which Martin replied: “Before you beat someone, you must first learn this.” He invited Cassius to the gym, where he coached young boxers, many of whom participated in amateur Golden Gloves tournaments.
- Ali changed the name more than once. It’s the verifiable truth that Cassius Clay chose to change his name to Mohammed Ali in the wake of changing over to Islam during the 60s. Yet, few individuals realize that before this the competitor had plans for rebranding and needed to change the name to Cassius X. “It was on the morning of February 26, 1964, directly after he thumped out Sonya Liston. However, after two weeks, on March 6, he declared that the religious and political pioneer Elijah Mohammed (who drove the African-American religious and patriot association in the US” Nation of Islam “from 1934 until his passing in 1975 – ed.) gave him another name, Mohammed Ali,” – Miller said.
- Ali was a Sufi. As is known, on April 28, 1967, Ali would not join the positions of the US Army, advocating such a choice with religious intentions. For this he was denied of the heavyweight title. Preceding this, Ali was intently connected with the “Country of Islam”, however along these lines moved to a progressively enchanted Muslim order. “In 2005, Ali declared that he was a Sufi. Sufism is maybe the quietest order of all huge and little religions. Sufis trust that deliberately hurting an individual is a similar thing that hurting all humankind. Hurt one individual intends to demolish the entire world “It was ideal for Ali, who lived as a Sufi for a considerable length of time before finding out about this religion,” Miller says.
- Amid his incredible return, Ali entered the ring harmed. Ali’s first enormous return — a fight with the super-wagon Jerry Quarry on October 26, 1970 — occurred three years and seven months after he wouldn’t join the military. Nonetheless, this triumphant fight, in the third round of which Ali in fact thumped out a rival, was very nearly breakdown. “Ali had just a large portion of a year to plan for this battle. In preparing, a cherished companion and previous heavyweight champion Jimmy Ellis broke Ali’s rib. However, even with such damage, Ali chose not to change the date of the battle. He thought about whether he could ever to the ring, in the event that you won’t battle now, “- Miller said.
- Parkinson’s infection has shown the fighter better approaches for correspondence. Ali was determined to have Parkinson’s ailment in 1984, when the competitor was 42 years of age. “The craft of signal is vital for him. He speaks with his hands and fingers, just as with outward appearances. He astonishes visitors by making a particular sound with his thumb and forefinger. He blows in a time, stimulates palms when shaking hands with somebody kidding path from the individuals who visit him, “- Miller says.
- Ali was a beginner mystical performer. “Up to this point, for a considerable length of time he had been experiencing Parkinson’s malady, Ali amazed guests with traps. The red silk scarf vanished in his grasp, he bit the coins down the middle and again associated them, regularly he did the old trap – assembling his legs, the other was bowed at the knee, he was likewise ready to hover over the ground, “Mill operator says.
- As it was at that point referenced amid labor, the future legend of boxing was named Cassius Clay. Additionally, they did it to pay tribute to the white farmer and abolitionist of the XIX century, who freed 40 slaves gained from his father. Abolitionism is an advancement to invalidate enslavement and free slaves.
- Stolen bike. In boxing, Muhammad Ali went at 12 years of age years. A red-and-white bicycle of the firm, acquired with money, was stolen from the child. Irritated, he told policeman Joe Martin that he would beat the individual who did it. “Before you beat someone, you should at first gotten comfortable with this,” Joe told the child. Martin was not a fundamental cop. He arranged energetic contenders. He prescribed that Ali go to work out. It took only a month and a half – and Mohammed entered the ring, and rapidly won in his first beginner battle.
- Novice calling. As an amateur contender, Ali won 100 fights out of the 108s. For him – 6 triumphs in the title “Splendid Gloves” in Kentucky, similarly as the Olympic Games in 1960 in Rome.
- Olympic enrichment. In 1975, in his life account, Mohammed formed that in the wake of returning to Louisville, he hurled his Olympic honor from a framework into the Ohio River – in test against the dogmatism that the contender still looked in where he grew up. Various by then expressed, they state, Cassius basically lost it, and envisioned the story. Anyway, in 1996 the pioneer of the International Olympic Committee gave the warrior a duplicate of the lost gold honor.
- Battle against Leon Spinks. It was in 1978. Overwhelming 15 rounds of a battle, with a triumph in which Ali recovered the hero title. Because of the battle, Muhammad turned into the primary heavyweight boxing champion to win this title for the third time.
- Parkinson’s infection. In 1980, when Ali was 38 years of age, he entered the ring in the battle for the boss heavyweight title against the present victor Larry Holmes. Around then, Muhammad had quite recently come back to the game following a two-year break. This was the solitary time when Ali lost in front of timetable. The reason: amid the battle fighter previously started to hint at the primary Parkinson’s infection. July 19, 1996, the Atlanta Summer Olympics were held. Officially hard-talking from Parkinson’s ailment, Mohammed lights the Olympic fire.
- Mohammed Ali got a kick out of the chance to express terrible words to his adversaries so as to irritate them and unsettle them. He even made sonnets in which he scorned his opponents and lauded himself. The record organization Columbia Records was so awed with his disparagement that in 1963 they chose to discharge Mohammed Ali’s sound collection, entitled “I Am the Greatest” (“I Am the Greatest”), in which the 21-year-old fighter read his lyrics with melodic backup.
- Amid his constrained 43-month ejection from the boxing ring, Ali assumed a noteworthy job in the Broadway melodic “Big Time White Buck”. Tragically, the melodic was immediately shut following 4 days, and Ali figured out how to perform just multiple times. In spite of the disappointment of the task, Mohammed Ali, who assumed the job of a forceful dark teacher, got respectable audits.
- In 1978, Mohammed Ali recovered his victor title against Leon Spinks, winning after 15 adjusts by consistent choice. He turned into the main world heavyweight boxing champion to win this title for the third time.
- In 1980, at 38 years old, following a two-year rest in a games profession, Ali entered the ring for the super heavyweight title against the present boss Larry Holmes. This was the sole time when Mohammed Ali lost in front of timetable. Tragically, amid the battle fighter previously started to hint at the primary Parkinson’s sickness.
- In February 1999, Mohammed Ali turned into the primary fighter, whose picture showed up on the case of dry “champagne morning meals” – Wheaties wheaten drops.
- This may sound implausible, however Mohammed Ali prepared for speed with stones. He requested that his closest companion toss stones at him from which he needed to avoid. As indicated by his more youthful sibling (Rudy), Ali avoided each stone that was tossed at him.
- The decision board of the US Army chose Mohamed Ali’s IQ coefficient, which was 78. In his accumulation of diaries, he fooled: “I said that I am the best, not the most adroit.”
- In 1999, the magazine “Sports Illustrated” named Mohammed Ali the best North American competitor of the twentieth century.
- Just about 50 years after the battle, the gloves in which Mohammed Ali vanquished Liston and won the world title brought him more cash than the triumph itself. In 2013, a mysterious purchaser purchased fighter gloves, in which he won his first victor title, for $ 836,000. For correlation, for the triumph in that fight, Ali earned $ 630,000.
- The book by Benedikt Taschen, entitled “GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammed Ali” (“Tribute to Mohammed Ali”) weighs 75 pounds (34 kg) and is surrounded in silk and calfskin by Louis Vuitton. The 780-page book has measurements of 20×20 inches (51×51 cm), it has 600,000 words and in excess of 3,000 pictures. “GOAT” signifies “Most noteworthy of All Time” (“Greatest all things considered”).
- Since 2013 “Mohammed Ali Center” has been holding “Three Days of Greatness” in his respect in the place where he grew up of Louisville (Kentucky).
- In 1974, Elvis Presley and Mohammed Ali initially met in Las Vegas, maybe the two most popular individuals on the planet around then. The media fans still assemble this conference just “when the Greatest met the King.”
- Here is what Ali said in one of the interviews after he converted to Islam: “There were wonderful moments in my life. But the feeling that I experienced when standing on Mount Arafat during the Hajj was incomparable. I was surrounded by an indescribable spiritual atmosphere in this place, where more than a half million Muslims cried out to God, begging Him to forgive their sins and bestow His blessing. It was a very exciting moment to observe how people of different skin color and nationality, kings, heads of state, and people from ordinary people, all dressed in two simple white fabrics, prayed to God, leaving behind any sense of pride or superiority. It was a practical manifestation of the concept of equality in Islam. “The public reaction to the news of the adoption of Ali Islam was mostly negative. Ed Lassman, president of the WBA, said: “The glue has damaged the boxing world and sets a bad example of youth.” He tried to strip Ali of the title. But Muhammad did not care. “All I need is to ask myself if God will be pleased with me. The world championship did not bring me happiness, since true happiness comes from God. After death, it does not matter how much money I earned, how much I was educated. The most important prayer and good deeds in life, because staying on earth is a practice before eternal life,” the legendary boxer repeated.
- Mohammed Ali has 9 children: two sons and seven daughters. Two of them are known as professional athletes: daughter Leyla Ali followed in her father’s footsteps and in boxing became world middleweight champion, son Asaad Amin plays baseball. Samara’s daughter is an actress. She, too, can be called the successor of the talents of the famous father, because Ali also starred in movies and even got an Oscar for working on the film When We Were Kings.
In spite of everything, Mohammed Ali was and remains a legendary boxer.