Heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali was named the biggest 20th century athlete in any kind of sport through Sports depicted on 2nd December 1999. He was likewise voted the BBC sports Personality the the Century on 12th December 1999, at the final awards ceremonies that the millennium. The American experienced boxer, who career spanned an ext than 21 years, was among the 20th century’s most iconic sporting legends.

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Born Cassius Clay ~ above 17th January 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, he adjusted his name to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam in the 1960s. At the period of only 18, he won the yellow medal in the irradiate heavyweight division at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Later transforming professional, he winner the WBC, WBA and lineal heavyweight title from Sonny Liston in 1964, as soon as he was only 22 years old.


He met few of the world’s best fighters in the ring throughout his long career, such as George Foreman and Joe Frazier. In 1964, 1974 and 1978 he won the lineal heavyweight people championship, to become the just three-times world champion in history. That was likewise named Fighter the the Year by boxing magazine, Ring, a document six times in 1963, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1978.

Throughout his whole professional career, there to be only 5 fights where Muhammad Ali failed come beat his opponent. The very first took place on 8 hours March 1971, when the 2 giants that heavyweight boxing, Muhammad Ali and also Joe Frazier, met in the ring in ~ Madison Square Garden, brand-new York. In a clash called the “fight the the century” because that the WBA/WBC people titles, Ali lost the epic 15-round battle in a unanimous decision top top points, after Frazier struck him on the ropes and caused him to hit the deck with a left hook during the last round.

The 2nd time Ali met his enhance was on 31st in march 1973, in a 12-round split-decision loss against Ken Norton because that the NABF heavyweight location in san Diego. Ali to be the runaway favourite complying with 10 succeeding victories and also was meant to breeze through versus the unfancied Norton – a previous marine. After an injury hampered Ali’s training, it showed up he had actually underestimated his opponent. Ali suffered a broken jaw in the 2nd round, but carried on till the end, just to shed to his fairly unknown rival.

Ali was to satisfy his match again top top 15th February 1978 in a 15-round split decision loss to Leon Spinks for the WBA/WBC heavyweight title in brand-new Orleans. Spinks, an additional ex-marine, had won Olympic gold in 1976 and the fight versus Ali to be his eighth professional boxing match. It was reported Spinks trained hard, while Ali just sparred. Despite Spinks having a muscle injury, he regulated to outlast Ali.

Ali’s fourth loss came versus Larry Holmes on 2nd October 1980, if boxing because that the WBC people heavyweight location at Caesar’s Palace, ras Vegas. A short-term 24,790-seat outdoor arena was constructed for the fight. Ali was bidding to end up being four-times champion and also reputedly earned a record $8 million come fight his friend, Holmes. Afterwards, the was declared Ali was currently showing signs of Parkinson’s and had struggled in the pre-fight medical examination. The fight was stopped after the 10th round by Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee. Although there wasn’t a knockdown, Holmes dominated, and also all 3 judges awarded him every round.

The only other time Muhammad Ali experienced defeat was on 11th December 1981, in a non-title fight versus Trevor Berbick at the Queen Elizabeth sports Centre in Nassau, Bahamas. The judges unanimously awarded a points win to Berbick, age 27. At the moment of the fight, the American boxing commission had refused to patent Ali, climate aged 39, as result of his deteriorating medical condition however Bahamas did patent him, although the fight to be later described as a “shambles”.

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Out the 61 bouts, Muhammad Ali won 56 – consisting of 37 knockouts and also 19 on points decisions. He retirement from boxing in 1981 at the period of 39. ~ a truly exceptional skilled career, the only lost 5 times.