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Sports Heroes

Muhammad Ali

by Ling from Newark

Muhammad Ali wasn't just a boxer, he was a hero to many young minds back then and today. His life began on January 17, 1942, he's 73 years old today. He won an Olympic gold medal, 2 Golden Gloves medals and several other honors. He wasn't only a boxer but also a man who fought to stop racism. The majority of his fights were won by knock outs.He quickly became the only man to win the heavy weight title 3 times.

Some may ask how did he start boxing. Well his journey to becoming one of the world's finest boxers began when he was 12. His bike was stolen and as he was talking to a police officer named Joe Martin. While talking to Martin, Ali said he wanted to beat up the thief. The officer told him that before he brought challenges like that upon himself he needed to learn how to fight. Martin wasn't only a cop, he owned a boxing gym. When Ali started learning how to box Martin knew he would do great. Shortly after his amateur career Ali won the 1956 Golden Gloves tournament for heavyweights.

Ali was boxing in the late 50s through the early 80s. However when he was called to serve his country to fight in Vietnam Ali, who had converted to Islam 2 years before, said he couldn't go because of his religion. His decision to not go to Vietnam was greatly criticized. In 1967 he was found guilty of draft evasion to be inducted into the military. Ali was stripped of his boxing title and suspended from the sport for 3 years.

Ali's boxing comeback was in 1970 and he had won his first fight after his suspension.The following year he was beat by Joe Frazier. Ali went 15 rounds before dropping. In 1974 Ali reclaimed himself after the rematch which Ali won against Fraizer. Perhaps one of his toughest bouts took place in 1975 when he battled longtime rival Joe Frazier in the "Thrilla in Manila" fight. The fight went 14 rounds where each boxer gave it their all, although the vicious fighting Ali won. Ali later was defeated by Leon Spinks in 1978 and was knocked out by Larry Holmes in 1980. In 1981, Ali fought his last match, losing his heavyweight title to Trevor Berbick. He announced his retirement from boxing the next day.

After His retirement Ali in 1984 was diagnosed to have Parkinson's disease, which is a disease that causes slowness of speech and muscle tremors. When he came back home he was trying to fight racism from the world and became a philanthropist. He is 73 years old today and is still looked up to by many people.

Page created on 5/7/2015 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/7/2015 12:00:00 AM

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