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Muhammad Ali Essay Research Paper Muhammad AliByChenell

Muhammad Ali Essay, Research Paper Muhammad Ali Chenell Delancy English I Mr. Eggleston Quarter I August 28, 2000 MUHAMMAD ALI Muhammad Ali, formally known as Cassius Marcellus Clay, became one the

Muhammad Ali Essay, Research Paper

Muhammad Ali

By

Chenell Delancy

English I

Mr. Eggleston

Quarter I

August 28, 2000

MUHAMMAD ALI

Muhammad Ali, formally known as Cassius Marcellus Clay, became one the

best sport role model of all time. At the tender age of twelve, he and his friends went

to the Columbia Auditorium to visit the bazaar. When he and friends decided to

leave, he then realized his new bike was stolen. He was in a tearing rage, and he

went down to the gym basement, because he had heard there was a police officer

down there. Ali told the police what had happened, and was demanding a search.

The officer, Joe Martin, then asked him if he could fight, and Ali said no, so Martin

invited him to come to the gym and learn how to box. 1

Sadly the bike was never found. Cassius decided to have Joe Martin teach him

how to box. One night at dinner he said to his mom, ?I want to be a boxer? His

mother approved. She thought it would be better than roaming the streets. Cassius

went to the gym every spare moment. He learned how to throw punches, how to

jump rope, and how to hit the heavy bag and speed bag. He could take a hit and it

wouldn?t affect him, he would just throw one right back. After that fight he

told everybody that he would be the champion of the world.

Cassius was known as ?The King?, using the motto, ?Float like a butterfly,

sting like a bee?. He was a very dedicated person. He was always first to the gym,

and last to leave. At age 18, Cassius had already won six Kentucky Golden Glove

Awards, two National Golden Glove Awards, and in 1959-1960 he won the Amateur

Athletic Union (AAU) Titles. He fought in 108 amateur fights and won 100 of them.

Cassius was ready to turn pro.

While in the Rome Olympics Cassius had started reading Muhammad Speaks,

a magazine from Elijah Muhammad. Soon Cassius became a strong follower of

Elijah.

One day Malcolm X, a strong Muslim leader, visited Cassius at Fifth Street

Gym. Cassius said he wanted to change his name to Muhammad Ali, which means

?someone who is worthy of praise.? Ali?s grandfather was a slave and that?s where he

got the name Clay. Muhammad said he didn?t want a slave last name. Some people,

saw him as a role model, because of his devotion to his religion, Muslim. After

becoming a Muslim, he changed his name. He was baptized a Catholic, but got very

interested in The Nation of Islam.

In the beginning he hide his interests in ?The Nation,? because he felt that the

public was not ready for his conversion. In an interview, he was once asked if he

was a Muslim, and he replied, ?I am not Muslim, but they are the cleanest people I

have ever met.?2

He became very close with Elijah Muhammad and Malcom X. Malcom went to all

of Ali?s matches, and they ate breakfast together frequently.

He is the greatest of all time. He is a very nice man, who does many nice

things for charities and The Nation of Islam worldwide. He had gotten a lot of brain

damage from boxing that in his old age he could not speak and function

But, this does not affect “the butterfly” in his daily life. 3

In 1960, he won the Olympic Light ? Heavyweight Championship over Heavy

Weight Champion Sonny Liston. He trained very hard, and he did a good job, and

he produced a steady stream of headlines. He was the first boxer to benefit from

international television, as it makes him known to the world.

He was stripped of his title in 1967 during the Vietnam War for refusing

military service on religious ground. He said, ?If going to war, and possible dying,

would help twenty ? two million blacks in this country gain freedom, justice and

equality, I would join tomorrow.?4 He, also, said that he would not help kill the poor

in other countries, when it is happening to his own people in America.5 Ali returned to

fighting in 1970, culminating in the “Fight of the Century,” against Joe Frazier. This

was the first of three epic battles between these ring gladiators with Ali taking two

out of three bouts, including one of the greatest fights of all time, the “Thrilla in

Manilla.” In 1974, Ali demonstrated his ring brilliance by knocking out the

undefeated George Foreman to regain the Heavyweight Championship of the World.

The fight was held in Zaire, Africa, and was the first fight to be held on that

continent. Ali can truly be considered the first champion of the entire world and to

has served as an ambassador of goodwill for our nation to this day.

Ali regained his title back in a 1974 bout with George Forman, and he lost it

again in 1978 to Leon Spinks. He, then, regained the title back in the same year, thus

becoming the first man to win the title for the third time. 6

Muhammad Ali made a great contribution to boxing and the dancing style,

and he will never be forgotten for his amazing technique. Ali held the championship

until 36 years of age. 7 He and regained the championship title an unprecedented

third time by disposing of Leon Spinks in a rematch bout.

As a black man, living in an era that continued to question his rights as a

person, Ali faced and battled issues of race and class, and to this day ranks as one of

the Civil Rights movement. Not surprisingly, this adversity only made Ali stronger,

prouder, and more determined than ever to live his life with dignity and by his own

conviction.

While it may have looked to some that the count was nearing ten and the final

bell was about to ring, Ali emerged from this battle with chin high and hands raised,

and years later would be selected the greatest athlete of modern times. 8 Leaving the

sport he loved with a record of 56 wins, 37 by way of knockout, he trekked a long

pilgrimage through religion and democracy to find himself an icon that will forever

touch the hearts of men. Muhammad Ali has been the very benchmark by which all

professional athletes are now measured. 9

Muhammad Ali was not only a boxer and a leader for African Americans, but

he was also a poet and philosopher. He was never very good in school but he could

always write great poems.

Today, Muhammad lives with his wife Lonnie in a beautiful house in

Handcock Park, Los Angeles. He is fighting the toughest fight of his life, it?s called

Parkinsons disease. He was diagnosed 16 years ago and it has kept getting worse.

That?s not the only bad thing. He has earned tens of millions of dollars in the ring.

Millions of that have been lost in bad investments, like ?Muhammad Ali Sports,?

which never made any progress.

His marriage also didn?t go well. In 1996 he divorced Veronica Porche and

quickly married Lonnie Williams. She is a Muslim woman who also grew up

in Louisville. His Courage Facing Parkinsons Muhammad has been suffering from

Parkinsons for 16 years. Parkinsons is a disease in your equilibrium that forces you of

balance and makes you shake. He has seen many doctors but Parkinsons is

an incurable disease.

He is the epitome of what is good in sports and what is true in men. One

sports writer wrote a long time ago about Ali, say, ?There are many men that are

affected by the times in which they live but there are very few that actually shape

them.?10

FOOTNOTES

1. http:/www.courier. journal.com/ali/cupnews/0.917transcript.html.

2. Tomas Hauser, ?Muhammad Ali in Perspective?. Collins Publishers, (Vancouver,

1996), pp 20-31.

3. Ibid.

4. Arlene Schulman, ?Champion?, Learner Publications. (Minneapolis, 1996), p56.

5. http:/dir.yahoo.com/recreation/sports/boxing/boxers/muhammadali.

6. Ibid

7. Richard B. Stolley ,?Turbulent Years The 60?s?, p40.

8. Ibid

9. Gerald Early, ?The Muhammad Ali Reader?. (Hopewell: Ecco Press, 1998_, pp 56-

57.

10. Ibid

BIBLIOGRAPY

1. Stolley, Richard B. ?Turbulent Years the 60?s?, p 40.

2. Internet www.courier.journal.com/ali/cupnews/0917transcrip.html.

3. Conklin, Tomas. ?The Fight for Respect?. Brookfield, Agincourt Press, 1960.

4. Early, Gerald. ?The Muhammad Ali Reader?. Hopewell, Ecco Press, 1998.

5. Watts, Tessitore. ?Muhammad Ali, The Worlds Champion?. Danbury, Grolier

Publishing, 1998 pp 56-57.

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