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Muhammad Ali by Yemdana

Muhammad Ali was a wildly successful boxer. He had 56 wins and 5 losses. He was born on January 17th 1942 and in Louisville in USA. His name was Cassius Clay before he changed it to Muhammad Ali. Growing up, he had to deal with racism since Louisville was racially segregated at the time. When he was 12 years old, he went out with some friends on his bike, he then went into a building and when he came out later, his bike had been stolen. He told a police officer who was at the scene that “whoever stole my bike, I am going to beat them up”. The police officer happened to be a boxing coach so he offered Muhammad boxing classes so he could beat up the thief. It turned out Muhammad was extremely good at boxing because he was agile. Out of the 105 amateur boxing matches he competed in, he won 100 of them.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali competed in the Olympics in Rome, Italy in 1960 and won a gold medal in boxing. Then in 1964 he went up against heavy weight champion Sonny Liston and beat him, making him the heavy weight champion. In 1967 he was supposed to be drafted into the Vietnamese war. He refused to go saying it went against his religious belief. He wasn’t allowed to fight for three years. After the ban was lifted, he had 3 legendary fights with Joe Frazier, the man who gave Muhammad Ali the biggest challenge of his boxing carrier.

Ali v Fazier promotional picture

Muhammad Ali did a lot of charity work after his retirement from boxing in 1981. He went around the world speaking about religious tolerance. He also worked with ‘Make a wish foundation’ raising over 50 million dollars. He regularly entered food shelters to help the homeless. In his last few years, he managed to raise over 50 million. His campaign on religious tolerance was well received by many people around the world. Also, the donations he made to countless food banks really helped many people in need. He inspired many people of all races because he came from a racially segregated area and still made it in life. It was normal for the white men to succeed but the fact that he did it as a black person was remarkable. That inspired many people, even in areas where racial segregation was not an issue. That is why Muhammad Ali is one of my biggest inspirations.

By, Yemdana

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