Muhammad Ali: The Greatest (part II)

Posted: April 9, 2015

Updated: October 6, 2017

Muhammad Ali is considered by many to be the greatest single athlete of the 20th century.

Muhammad Ali, born Marcellus Cassius Clay Jr., was born in Louisville, Kentucky. Many of the heavyweight champions mentioned have been widely considered among the greatest. Muhammad Ali is considered the greatest among these. Hence his nicknamed “the greatest” is well-earned. Ali was voted by Sports Illustrated as “Sportsman of the Century.” Ali’s life was and continues to be on the forefront of US gambling news.

• Ali was voted “Sportsman of the 20th Century” by Sports illustrated
• Ali was stripped of his title for his refusal to enroll for military service
• Ken Norton handed Ali his second loss and broke his jaw

Learning to box at 12, young Cassius Clay entered the amateur ranks of boxing earning 6 Golden Glove Titles, 2 National Golden Gloves titles and an Amateur Athletic Union National Title. After winning gold at the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Clay became a professional and had 19 wins and 0 losses. Clay’s showmanship drew the World to witness his unlikely defeat of Sonny Liston to win the World Heavyweight Title.

Muhammad Ali is born

Muhammad Ali began his career as a heavyweight champion is splendid fashion. His second title defense was against Floyd Patterson, who lost twice to Liston. The two made negative remarks towards each other. Patterson spoke negatively about Islam and Ali about Patterson being the “white man’s champion.” Ali would take this personally and demonstrate this during the fight. Such rhetoric would be the bane of most online online sportsbooks in US today.

In the form of punishment, Ali didn’t throw a single punch in the first round, but simply dodged Patterson’s punches. Eventually Ali did hit and extended the bout to 12 rounds of torture before Ali was declared the victor. Although Ali was scheduled for another fight in March of 1966, he was reclassified by the Louisville draft board as 1-A which required Ali to enroll for military service. The U.S government needed troops to send to Vietnam.

Muhammed Ali

(Photo: Huffington Post)

Upon refusing to enlist, the Illinois Athletic Commission wouldn’t sanction Ali’s upcoming bout. Ali went to Canada and Europe for four bouts. Upon his return, Ali fought Cleveland Williams in the Houston Astrodome in front of a crowd of 35,460. Ali won and took on Terrell who refused to call Ali by his name and used Cassius instead. Ali would have to punish Terrell for using what Ali called “his slave name.”

Ali would extend the bout for 15-rounds while toying with Terrell. Numerous sharp jabs, punches were thrown by Ali while yelling “What’s my name, Uncle Tom, what’s my name?” in between. The fight sharpened Ali’s critics and created a further lack of sympathy for him by the authorities. After his fight again Folley, Ali’s was stripped of his title for his refusal to be drafted into the Armed Services.

Ali’s Time in Exile and His Return

Ali has always said that his refusal to enter the draft was out of his religious beliefs. “No Vietcong ever called me nigger” Ali would proclaim. Since he was lost his license in every state in the U.S, Ali didn’t fight for 3 years. As public opinion against the Vietnam War increased, Ali spoke at Universities throughout the U.S as an anti-war and civil rights activist. In 1971, the U.S Supreme Court overturned Ali’s conviction.

After Ali’s license was reinstated, he fought and won Bonavena. His next contender was Joe Frazier. In what would be named the “fight of the century,” Ali once again portrayed Frazier as a tool of the establishment, who was too unintelligent to be champion. In the fight, Ali took the greatest physical punishment of his career which ended with a left hook that sent Ali to the hospital without a World Heavyweight Title.

After defeating Quarry then Patterson again, Ali faced Ken Norton. Norton had a reputation of having a powerful punch and many thought he could seriously injure Ali if Norton were able to land a hit on him. Norton handed Ali his second loss in a vicious beating that ended with Norton breaking Ali’s jaw. Considering Ali’s popularity, many people probably lost money gambling according to US gambling laws.

After seriously considering retirement, Ali decided to have a rematch with Norton. Although the outcome of the fight was controversial, Ali was awarded with the decision. As a result, Ali next opponent would be Smoking Joe Frazier in a rematch set at Madison Square Garden. Frazier, who lost the belt to George Foreman, was the number 1 contender.

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