(1942-2016) American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the history of the sport.
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AI generated biography of Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., was an American professional boxer, activist and philanthropist. He was widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century. Nicknamed "The Greatest", Ali was involved in several historic boxing matches and is widely regarded as one of the most influential and controversial athletes of the modern era.
Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali began training as an amateur boxer at 12 years old. At age 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Ali turned professional later that year, and won the world heavyweight championship in 1964 from Sonny Liston in a stunning upset.
In 1966, Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested and found guilty on draft evasion charges and stripped of his boxing titles. Ali’s appeal worked its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it was overturned in 1971.
Ali regained the world heavyweight championship twice more, in 1974 and 1978. His professional career spanned three decades and a remarkable 61 fights. Ali was the first three-time lineal world heavyweight champion; he won the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978. Between February 25, 1964, and September 19, 1964, Ali reigned as the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion.
Ali was known for his fighting style, which he described as "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". He was also known for his pre- and post-fight talk, as well as his refusal to back down from challenges. He was eventually named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Century" and BBC's "Sports Personality of the Century". In 1999, Ali was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated and "Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.
In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. He remained an active public figure, lending his name to several causes and charities, while also writing two autobiographies. He spent his final years as an advocate for the sport of boxing and as an inspiration to millions around the world.