|Muhammad Ali Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 3 in|
|Date of Birth||January 17, 1942|
Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is one of the most significant sports personalities of the 20th century. He defeated more world champions and top contenders than any heavyweight champion in history. Ali had his first fight on March 8, 1971. After that, he won the fights against world heavyweight kings Sonny Liston (twice), Floyd Patterson (twice), Ernie Terrell, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton (twice), Joe Frazier (twice), George Foreman, and Leon Spinks. He won a gold medal at age 18. Muhammad Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the ring. He had his last fight on December 11, 1981.
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
The Louisville Lip, The Greatest, The People’s Champion
Muhammad Ali was born on January 17, 1942.
Ali died at the age of 74 on June 3, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S. due to a septic shock.
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Ali attended Central High School in his hometown Louisville.
After graduation, he started working with trainer Fred Stoner. According to Ali, Fred was the one who gave him “real training” and molded his style, stamina, and system. Then, he was trained by boxing cutman Chuck Bodak.
Boxer, Actor, Writer
- Father – Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr. (Painter, Musician)
- Mother – Odessa O’Grady Clay (Domestic Helper)
- Siblings – Rahman Ali (Younger Brother) (Boxer), 3 Brothers (Unknown), Sister (Unknown)
- Others – Herman Heaton (Paternal Grandfather), Edith Edean Greathouse (Paternal Grandmother), John Lewis/Louis Grady (Maternal Grandfather), Birdie Bell Morehead (Maternal Grandmother), Abe Grady (Great-Grandfather)
He was represented by –
- Mariola Kalinska, Talent Agent, GreenLight Corbis Entertainment, New York City, New York, United States
- IMG (Talent Agent), New York City, New York, United States
78 in or 198 cm
6 ft 3 in or 190.5 cm
105 kg or 231.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Muhammad Ali dated –
- Sonji Roi (1964-1966) – Businessman Herbert Muhammad first introduced Ali to a cocktail waitress named Sonji Roi and they got married just after their first date on August 14, 1964, in Gary, Indiana. But their marriage didn’t last very long. They fought regularly because Sonji couldn’t follow strict Islamic rules while Ali was a strict follower of Islam. So, after 2 years of disagreements and incompatibility, they divorced on January 10, 1966.
- Khalilah Belinda Ali (1966-1976) – Ali and actress Khalilah Belinda married on August 17, 1967. Her name was Belinda Boyd before marriage. But she converted to Islam after the marriage and changed her name. The couple had 4 children together, named, Maryum “May May” (b. 1968), twins Jamillah and Rasheda (b. 1970) and Muhammad Ali Jr. (b. 1972). Eventually, they divorced on December 29, 1976.
- Wanda Bolton (1974) – In 1974, Ali got involved in an extramarital affair with 16-year-old Wanda Bolton. She changed her name to Aaisha Ali after their illegal Islamic ceremony while Ali was still married to Belinda. The couple had a daughter, Khaliah, in 1974. It was reported that Khaliah and her mother lived at Ali’s Deer Lake training camp along with Belinda and her children.
- Patricia Harvell (1972) – Ali is also reported to have a daughter named Miya with Patricia Harvell in 1972.
- Veronica Porché (1975-1986) – Ali and actress Veronica Porché started dating in 1975 while he was in the Philippines for his boxing match “Thrilla in Manila” bout vs. Joe Frazier. After ending his second marriage, Ali married Veronica in June 1977. The couple had 2 daughters together, Hana and Laila Ali. They were both born in 1977. The duo separated in July 1986 and got officially divorced in December 1986.
- Linda Lewis (1979) – Ali had a fling with singer Linda Lewis in 1979.
- Yolanda Williams (1986-2016) – Ali and Yolanda first met in 1964 in Louisville. They got married on November 19, 1986. The couple adopted a son named Asaad Amin.
- Barbara Mensah – Ali was also rumored to be in a relationship with Barbara Mensah.
Race / Ethnicity
He had African-American ancestry with some English and Irish roots.
He had appeared in these TV commercials –
- Wickes Furniture (2000)
- IBM Linux (2003)
- Equitable Life Insurance Co.
- America’s Dairy Farmers & Milk Producers (“Got milk?” milk mustache campaign) with daughter Laila Ali (2001)
- Pizza Hut with Angelo Dundee and David Bortolucci (1997)
- Vitalis hair care product with Joe Frazier (1971)
- D-Con Four/Gone Roach spray (1980)
- D-Con Roach Traps
- Anti-Drug Use PSA TV spot “Get High on Yourself” – Himself (United States) (September 27, 1981)
- “Louis Vuitton” luxury travel baggage (2012)
Muhammad Ali gradually developed his religious and spiritual views throughout his life. In 1962, Ali became a member of the Nation of Islam after his first fight with Liston.
In 1975, he became a follower of Sunni Islam after the death of the Nation’s leader, Elijah Muhammad.
Around 2005, Ali was strongly inclined towards Sufism and he officially adopted Sufi Islam.
Best Known For
- Defeating heavyweight kings Sonny Liston (twice), Floyd Patterson (twice), Ernie Terrell, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton (twice), Joe Frazier (twice), George Foreman and Leon Spinks
- Defeating light-heavyweight champions Archie Moore and Bob Foster
- Defeating European heavyweight champions Henry Cooper, Karl Mildenberger, Jürgen Blin, Joe Bugner, Richard Dunn, Jean-Pierre Coopman and Alfredo Evangelista
- Winning against undefeated fighters Sonny Banks (12-0), Billy Daniels (16-0), Rudi Lubbers (21-0) and George Foreman (40-0)
First Boxing Match
Ali made his amateur boxing debut in 1954 with local amateur boxer Ronnie O’Keefe.
Ali made his theatrical film debut as himself (Cassius Clay) in the sports drama film, Requiem for a Heavyweight, in 1962.
First TV Show
Apart from the broadcast of his boxing matches, he made his first TV show appearance in the talk show The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1962.
During his prime time, Ali used to wake up early in the morning, mostly at 5 o’clock to do some stretching. He used to run for 6 miles every morning. He trained for 3 hours in the gym. Surprisingly, the mighty Ali did not use weights for his training. His training routine was as follows –
Warm up – 15 minutes
- Side to sides
- Torso swivels
- Jumping around on toes to limber up
Shadow Boxing – Ali also engaged in 5 rounds of shadow boxing, working on footwork and speed punching, with 30-second breaks.
Heavy Bag – He worked on combinations and stamina for a total of 6 rounds (3 minutes) each, with a 30-second break
Sparring – Built up sparring as camp progressed
Floor Exercises – 15 minutes
- Bicycle crunches
- Sit-ups with a medicine ball
- Leg Raises
Speedball – He also indulged in speedball for 9 minutes with a 1-minute break.
Skipping – Muhammad did 20 minutes of continuous rope skipping.
Shadow Boxing – Walking around with light shadow boxing for a minute
His diet mainly consisted of natural foods like chicken, steak, Green beans, potatoes, and other vegetables, pure fruits juices and plenty of water to keep himself hydrated.
Muhammad Ali Favorite Things
- Meal – Baked chicken with dressing, green peas, macaroni and cheese, spinach, and hot buttered rolls
Source – Complex
Muhammad Ali Facts
- Ali was the first man ever who defeated the world champions, Sonny Liston and George Foreman.
- After he got bullied and his bike got stolen by the neighborhood bullies, he decided to take boxing lessons in order to get back at the bullies.
- Ali was the only boxer who knocked out (KO) George Foreman and Oscar Bonnavena.
- He wanted to play the role of Bilal in French adventure drama film The Message in 1976. But the film director didn’t approve of the idea.
- Ali lit the torch in 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
- He developed Parkinson’s syndrome due to numerous hits to the head during his boxing career. The disease was identified in 1984.
- He has a record of 56-5 with 37 KOs (Knockouts) and was also a four-time World Heavyweight Champion.
- In 1960 Olympics, he got a gold medal in light heavyweight boxing championship.
- His name is mentioned in the song “Powder Blue” by Ween and The Verve’s songs “Muhammad Ali” and “Noise Epic”.
- He has appeared as himself in a total of 4 motion pictures.
- Ali was voted sports personality of the century in England.
- He had to take a break from boxing for 3 and a half years while he was fighting his draft evasion case in court.
- On June 8, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump, who was probably unaware of Ali’s overturned conviction said that he might grant him a posthumous pardon.
- Ali was trained by Joe Martin (1953-1959) as an amateur, Archie Moore (1960-1961) and Angelo Dundee (1961-1980).
- He is one among many personalities mentioned in the song “Jesus Numa Moto” by Sá e Guarabyra.
- In 1986, he won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.
- Ali was good friends with Jimmy Ellis, Floyd Patterson, Mike Tyson, Teddy Pendergrass, and Barry White (II).
- He was one of the world’s most famous celebrities of all time. His fans would want to get punched by Ali rather than take a picture or autograph so that they could brag that they got hit by the greatest.
- In 1981, after retiring from boxing at 39, his main focus was religion and charity.
- Ali became a philanthropist after his retirement from boxing. He started various campaigns and donated millions of dollars to various charity organizations.
- His charitable work includes helping to feed 22 million people, who were suffering from hunger.
- He was named after his father Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr.
- His father was a follower of Methodism.
- Ali grew up during the period of racial segregation and he was once denied a drink of water at a store because of his color. That really affected him to his core.
- Ali left Moore’s training camp in 1960 because of his [Ali’s] refusal to do chores such as washing dishes and sweeping.
- Initially, he was refused entry to the Nation of Islam due to his boxing career, but after he won the championship from Liston in 1964, he got the membership.
- On June 20, 1967, he was convicted of draft evasion and got sentenced to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He paid the fine but never served time in prison.
- His boxing license was suspended by the state of New York after he was convicted in the draft evasion case.
- Ali had absorbed 200,000 hits during his entire boxing career.
- He initially announced his retirement from boxing on July 27, 1979. But shortly after that, he announced his comeback to fight Larry Holmes for the WBC belt. His main motive for this fight was money.
- He fought his last fight on December 11, 1981, in Nassau, Bahamas, against Jamaican-Canadian boxer Trevor Berbick.
- Visit his official website @ muhammadali.com.
- For more updates on Muhammad Ali, you can follow his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Featured Image by Anonymous / Dutch National Archives / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL