Sunday, January 24, 2010

Muhammad Ali- the Legend

There are a lot of people who left their mark in history and many individuals worth remembering and mentioning. However, among this group of people, there are some “special” ones, that have achieved everything naturally, just by being themselves and following their ambition. For me, one of the special figures from the near past is one of the greatest boxers of all time – Cassius Marcellus Clay Junior, or Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali was born on January 17th , 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. He came from a poor family, his father Cassius Marcellus Clay Senior was a billboard and sign painter, and his mother Odessa Grady Clay was a maid. It is ironic that such a great career began accidentally- the police officer and boxing coach Joe Martin saw him expressing his anger after his bike was stolen and offered him to begin boxing. Ali won his first title when he was 22, beating Sonny Liston, a heavyweight champion at that time. He went on to become the first boxer to win the heavyweight championship three times. Some of his fights like the “Rumble in the Jungle” on October 30, 1974, reached record interest and remained legendary in the history of boxing.
Besides being one of the greatest boxers of all time, Ali is also a great person, who is also notable and impressive outside the boxing stage. Cassius Clay became a Muslim because he felt he was in some way oppressed by white people and wanted to alienate himself from them. He rejected his name, and changed it to Muhammad Ali. He is a man with a very strong character and will. He has always done and said what he considered to be right, no matter the consequences. In 1966, Ali refused to join the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. There is a famous quote: “ I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. They never called me nigger”. As a result of his refusal, he lost his title. Muhammad Ali is very socially active person. In the past, he talked about issues of the black people society in the USA in numerous interviews. Nowadays, long after the times of his boxing excellence, Ali participates in humanitarian missions all around the globe.
Muhammad Ali is an ambitious, brave and confident person, whose personality and way of thinking are very inspiring and thought- provoking. His energy is felt in each interview he gives, his words are strong and accurate. He is worthy of being considered one of these “special” people in history, who had left their mark not only with their achievements, but with the way they accomplished them, with their character and approach they demonstrated.

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