Muhammad Ali is globally known for his boxing championships. But he was not only a good boxer but a great individual too. Don’t know much about your favorite boxer? Well, we have got you covered! Today, we are going to discuss some unknown Muhammad Ali facts for kids.
So let’s move ahead and jump straight into the boxing ring!
1. Muhammad Ali Was Known For His Famous Phrases
Muhammad Ali was an American boxer. This gifted athlete became a huge personality that brought him more fame and fans. He was famous for his popular phrases like “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” and “I am the greatest!”
2. Muhammad Ali Became A Heavyweight Champion In 1964
Born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali’s real name was Cassius Marcellus Clay. When he was 18 years old, he became the world heavyweight champion in 1964 after winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Rome.
3. Muhammad Ali Converted To Islam And Changed His Name
When Muhammad Ali was at the peak of his boxing career, he decided to get converted to Islam. After converting, he joined the Nation of Islam, which was a black Muslim group.
For the time being he changed his name to Cassius X. later on, he permanently, changed his name to Muhammad Ali. He took this step because during those days it was common to convert to different religions and change their name.
4. Muhammad Ali’s Own Beliefs And Opinions Made Him Lose His Boxing Title
Muhammad Ali was popular for his anti-war beliefs and he was completely against the Vietnam War that was going on in the 1960s.
In 1967, he got drafted into the military to serve in the war. However, he refused to go to the battle because at that time he was a practicing Muslim minister and it was against their rules. Ali got arrested as it was considered a felony for not taking part in the battle after getting enlisted.
As a result, his boxing license was taken away from him. Plus, he lost his world title too! This caused major damage to his boxing career because he missed important years. Later on, his conviction was overturned in 1971.
5. Muhammad Ali’s Married Life And Children
The American professional boxer and activist had four wives and they were Sonji Roi (m. 1964; div. 1966), Belinda Boyd (m. 1967; div. 1977,) and Veronica Porché Ali (m. 1977; div. 1986).
And Yolanda Williams (m. 1986). Apart from this, Muhammad Ali has nine kids (seven daughters and two sons) and they are Muhammad Ali Jr., Laila Ali, Rasheda Ali, Maryum Ali, Hana Ali, Asaad Amin, and Khaliah Ali, Miya Ali, as well as Jamillah Ali.
Besides, the names of his grandkids are Nico Walsh, Biaggio Ali Walsh, Curtis Muhammad Conway Jr., Jacob Wertheimer, Sydney J. Conway, and Jake Joyce.
6. Muhammad Ali Was A Philanthropist
Muhammad Ali was not only a boxer but also a philanthropist. In his free time, he loved to be part of good causes. He was one of those individuals who did where his heartfelt close. Ali worked day and night for racial equality for African Americans.
Apart from this, he also worked tirelessly on various causes to promote equality and peace at the global level. Moreover, he worked towards the national debt clearance of poverty-stricken countries.
7. Muhammad Ali Was Banned From Boxing For 3 Years
After refusing to join the armed forces, Muhammad Ali was stripped away from his boxing title as he was convicted of breaking the law.
8. Muhammad Ali Returned To The Boxing World Like A King
Finally, after three years of waiting, Muhammad Ali was allowed to step into the boxing ring in 1970. In 1971, the United States Supreme Court overturned his conviction as well. However, things had changed in three years because the current heavyweight holder was Joe Frazier.
Muhammad Ali took this as a positive challenge and decided to match again Frazier. However, he lost the match but later on, he defeated him.
After a while Frazier lost his title to Goerge Foreman, so Ali took this opportunity to match against Foreman. In 1974, his hard work paid off and he regained the world heavyweight title.
And luckily, he held his title proudly until 1978. In 1979, Muhammad Ali decided to retire from the boxing world. He formally announced it to the world and bid adieu.
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9. Muhammad Ali Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease But Still Participated In Good Causes
The American boxer came out of retirement for matches in 1980 and 1981. Muhammad Ali still participated in two more matches but was defeated both times. After a few years, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Despite his severe sickness he remained strong and active and participated in various activities. Sources say that Ali traveled all over the globe as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
Apart from that, he was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005, which is a big thing for every individual.
10. Muhammad Ali’s Ladder To Success Was Quick But Not Easy
Muhammad Ali worked a lot and participated in various fights to become the champion for the first time. After becoming a pro boxer, he gained success after winning a lot of fights back to back in a row. Most of the time, he defeated his opponents by knockout.
In 1964, he got his breakthrough and all the eyes were on him. It was the very first time when he was fighting for the boxing title.
During his first heavyweight championship in the world, he knocked out and defeated Sonny Liston. According to the sources, Liston had refused to come out and fight with ALi in the 7th round, which made Ali the ultimate winner.
In that epic year, he became the new heavyweight champion of the world.
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11. Muhammad Ali Was Known For His Sick Rhymes And Trash Talks
Muhammad Ali had beautifully mastered the art of rhyming and trash-talking. He used to come up with creative sayings which were specially curated to cut down his opponents. Seeing the opponent’s morale down and using strong slogans for himself pumped him up more.
He even talked with the opponents in the boxing battles. Sources reveal that he used to talk about how dumb and ugly his opponent was. Moreover, Ali often referred to himself as the greatest and many more powerful words.
12. Muhammad Ali Made An Epic Comeback After Losing His Title For Three Years
In 1970, Muhammad Ali finally made a comeback. He fought against some of the most deadly opponents in the early 1970s. And three of his famous fights are:
Fight of the Century – It took place in New York City on March 8, 1971. Ali (31-0) and Joe Frazier’s (26-0) fight went all for fifteen rounds. Sadly he lost to Frazier by decision. It is said to be the first loss in his professional boxing career.
Rumble in the Jungle – It took place in Kinshasa, Zaire October 30, 1974. Ali (44-2) knocked out George Foreman (40-0) in the 8th round and regained his title of Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World.
Thrilla in Manila – It took place in Quezon City, Philippines on October 1, 1975. Ali (48-2) and Joe Frazer (32-2) were again back in the right. But this time Ali won the TKO after the 14th round when the referee had to stop the battle.
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