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The greatest mystery of the 1996 Olympic summer games in Atlanta, was solved at 28 minutes past midnight the day of the opening ceremony. The crowd erupted when the Olympic torch was passed to Muhammad Ali. The Olympic gold medal boxer Muhammad Ali lifted the torch and trembled before a crowd screaming "Ali". He then sent the fire soaring high above the stadium to ignite the ceremonial Olympic cauldron. This moment was truly one of the finest ever to many sports fan, considering the tragedy Ali has been through, he still executed the mission as a true champion.
Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville, KY., on January 17, 1942. He grew up in a poor family. His adolescence was influenced by a prejudice society, and the poor black neighborhood where he grew up. Ali had problems in school at an early stage and felt he wanted to do something different. His dreams were going to be fulfilled at an age of 12, when Joe Martin, a police officer and a boxing instructor, encouraged Ali to start with boxing. Ali showed great skills at an early stage of his boxing career.
At the age of 16, Ali had won two Golden Glove Titles, two National AAU Titles, he was by now nationally recognized. When the 1960 Rome Olympic Game was about to take off, Ali was provided with an opportunity to represent his country. At this point he had fought 103 amateur matches, and had only lost five. Ali went with the Olympic team to Rome, and he did not only participate, he also won the precious Olympic gold medal. Ali returned home from Italy, and he felt that he had made a difference when he won the gold medal for his country. When he got back to his hometown, Louisville, he thought that he was going to be treated as a champion, but he was still discriminated by the white society. In anger, Ali decided to throw his Olympic gold medal into the Ohio river, as a protest against what he perceived as racism in his hometown. At this point Ali wanted to take a stand against the discrimination of the blacks in the US, and did so by his actions.
By the age of 22 Clay had a professional boxing record of 19 wins and no loss. On February 25, 1964, Ali got the chance to fight for the world heavyweight championship. Despite his prior record, Ali was considered to be the underdog, few "experts" gave him a chance. Before the fight Ali used the media to psyche Sonny Liston, and this was going to be a character of Muhammad Ali. He proclaimed that "Sonny will fall in four". Ali entered the ring as a 7-1 underdog to the fearsome Heavyweight Champion Charles "Sonny" Liston. Ali used his speed and movement to thoroughly outbox the champion, who retires on his stool after the sixth round. Ali became the second youngest champion in history. After the fight Ali told the world his name now is Muhammad Ali and he has joined the Nation of Islam, a move that had a significant effect on his career.
As a champion Ali now recognized his power in society, he used this power to support and speak for the Civil Rights. These actions were something the white society feared and disliked. Ali became a political symbol of the black society, maybe the person who influenced blacks the most after Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
During the nextcoming three years, Ali defended his title nine times including the match where Ali outpointed Ernie Terrell and became the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.
On April 28, 1967, one of the most controversial loss of the heavyweight title in boxing history, happened. Ali had been drafted by the army for induction into military service to fight in the Vietnam war. He refused to step forward when called, on grounds of his religious beliefs. Ali was immediately stripped of his heavyweight title, and received a five year prison sentence, which he immediately appeals. Ali had no more fights for the rest of 1967, nor any fights in 1968 and 1969, as he lost his peak physical years as a boxer to fight against his conviction. Whether Ali did right or wrong, I do not know, but he took his punishment for something he believed in, but we
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Muhammad Ali, The Rumble in the Jungle, Thrilla in Manila, Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, Fight of the Century, Ali, George Foreman, Leon Spinks, Professional boxing, Boxing, Ernie Terrell, boxer muhammad ali, cassius marcellus clay, olympic summer games, olympic gold medal, olympic cauldron, muhammad ali, boxing instructor, olympic torch, greatest mystery, true champion, golden glove, olympic game, joe martin, boxing career, sports fan, olympic team, ohio river, opening ceremony, adolescence, louisville ky
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