Muhammad Ali Trivia
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Birth name: Cassius Marcellus Clay
Date of birth: 17 January 1942
Place of birth: Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Nickname: The Greatest, The Louisville Lip, The People’s Champion
Height: 6′ 3″ (1.91 m)
Spouse: Yolanda Williams (19 November 1986 – present) 1 child, Verónica Porche Ali (19 June 1977 – July 1986) (divorced) 2 children, Khalilah ‘Belinda’ Ali (17 August 1967 – 1977) (divorced) 4 children, Sonji Roi (14 August 1964 – 10 January 1966) (divorced).
- Former heavyweight boxing champion
- Light heavyweight boxing gold medalist, 1960 Olympics. World heavyweight boxing champion, 1964-67, 1974-78, 1978-79. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, 1990.
- Ali learned early from the outrageous bad-guy wrestler, Gorgeous George, that it could pay to be hated. Ali said “I saw fifteen thousand people coming to see this man get beat, and his talking did it. I said, this is a gooood idea!” Then Ali refined that talking concept to what has been referred to as The Louisville Lip.
- Son of Odessa Clay
- Brother of Rahaman Ali
- Inducted into the Sport in Society Hall of Fame, 1994.
- Suffers from Parkinson’s Syndrome, caused by the numerous blows to the head during his boxing career.
- Lit the torch at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Took in interest in boxing when his bike was stolen by local hoods.
- His bout with massive underdog Chuck Wepner inspired Sylvester Stallone to create Rocky Balboa, while the character Apollo Creed (played by Carl Weathers) was based on Ali himself.
- Has a record of 56-5 with 37 KOs.
- Children: Daughters Rasheeda and Jamilla (twins) and Maryum (by Belinda Boyd); Miya, Khalilah, Hana, and Laila (by Veronica Porche). Sons Muhammed, Jr. (by Boyd); Asaad (adopted with Yolanda Williams).
- The first boxer in history to regain the championship three times by defeating the same boxer he lost the championship to.
- In order to pay his legal fees (since he was barred from boxing), Ali hit the college lecture circuit and even starred in the Broadway Musical “Buck White”.
- In June, 1967, Ali was convicted of violating the Selective Service Act (knowingly and willfully refusing to report for and submit to induction into the armed forces), and was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $100,000. On appeal, Ali claimed he was denied due process because the ratio of blacks on draft boards did not reflect their ratio in the population. But, the three member Presidential Draft Board, formed by President Lyndon Johnson to prevent such scenarios (and included a black member) ruled his objection was invalid, and that he was not entitled to conscientious objector status as a minister of the Islamic Religion (what he stated as his profession). Morever, in an April, 1966 letter to his local draft board, Ali protested that two years of military service would cause him serious financial loss in being unable to pursue his livelihood as a boxer, NOT as a minister.
- In 1962, Ali signed for Selective Service, but he failed the mental aptitude test, and was classified 1-Y (unfit for service). But, when the US armed forces required more soldiers for the Vietnam War, the pass-percentage marks for the tests were dropped to 15, meaning that Ali (and thousands of other men) was re-classified 1-A, now fit for service.
- Contrary to popular belief, he was stripped of his boxing license by the State of New York and his title by the World Boxing Association when he converted to Islam. The World Boxing Council, however, recognized him as champ throughout his battle with the US government over his refusal to be inducted into the Army.
- Married second wife Belinda Boyd when she was 17.
- Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, 1986.
- Legend has it that Ali threw his 1960 Olympic gold medal into the river, when in reality he just simply lost it at some point in time.
- Recorded an album for Epic Records in 1964 titled “I Am The Greatest.” Sam Cooke produced one of the songs from the LP, “The Gang’s All Here.”
- Is referenced in the song ‘Powder Blue’, by U.S. band ‘Ween’.
- Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, 1983 (charter member).
- Has portrayed himself in four different motion pictures.
- His paternal great-grandfather was Abe Grady, a native of Ireland
- Had an amateur boxing record of 127 wins and only 5 defeats.
- From 1963 to 1966 he successfully defended the heavyweight title 9 times.
- Inactive for 3 and a half years while fighting his draft evasion case in court.
- Voted sports personality of the Century in England
- Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on 9 November 2005. Other recipients were Frank Robinson, Gen. Richard Myers, Paul Rusesabagina, Carol Burnett, Andy Griffith, Aretha Franklin, Vint Cerf and his Internet codeveloper Robert Kahn, Jack Nicklaus, Alan Greenspan, and former congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery.
- As an amateur, Ali was only knocked-out once in over 110 fights, by Kent Green on a 3rd round technical knockout. Green went on to a 14-2 pro boxing record.
- In 62 pro boxing matches, Ali was only stopped once; by Larry Holmes on a technical knockout. Ali was never counted out, but was unable to come out for round 11 in their title fight.
- When Ali stopped Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Title, Liston had not lost a fight in over 10 years.
- First man to knockdown Sonny Liston, George Foreman, and Chuck Wepner.
- Received the Otto Hahn peace medal for his “life-long engagement in the American civil rights movement and the global cultural emancipation of blacks, as well as his work as a UN Goodwill ambassador”. (December 2005)
- Trained by Joe Martin (1953-1959) as an amateur, Archie Moore (1960-1961) and Angelo Dundee (1961-1980).
- As an amateur, he was only knocked-out once in over 110 fights, by Kent Green on a 3rd round technical knockout. Green went on to a 14-2 pro boxing record.
- In 62 pro boxing matches, he was only stopped once; by Larry Holmes on a technical knockout. He wasn’t counted out, but was unable to come out for round 11 in their title fight.
- When he stopped Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Title, Liston had not lost a fight in over 10 years.