Muhammad Ali Videos - the Cassius Clay years
Who is he? The Greatest, that's who!
Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. on January 17, 1942) is a retired American boxer and former three time World Heavyweight Champion. In 1999, Ali was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated. He also won the North American Boxing Federation championship and an Olympic gold medal.
Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He was named after his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr., in turn named for the 19th century abolitionist and politician Cassius Clay. Ali changed his name after joining the Nation of Islam and subsequently converted to Sunni Islam in 1975.
Standing at 6' 3" (1.91 m), Ali had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. Rather than the normal boxing style of carrying the hands high to defend the face, he instead relied on his ability to avoid a punch.
Ali was one of the smoothest and most natural boxers of all time; His hands were lightning fast and he was practically impossible to hit cleanly during his early career. As a boxer, he sometimes made mistakes but with his unbelievable speed was able to still win, primarily with jabs and combinations which took their toll; He could judge distances within an inch, was brave, had a great chin and could take punishment
When he first hit the scene, he called himself "The Greatest" and people scoffed; Today, many people around the world consider him to be not just the greatest boxer but the greatest sportsman who ever lived. Truly "The Greatest".
12 years old Cassius Clay
The young Cassius was first directed toward boxing by Louisville police officer Joe E. Martin, who first encountered the 12-year-old fuming over his bicycle being stolen. Martin led Clay to his first trainer, Fred Stoner, who remained with Cassius during his entire amateur career. His last amateur loss was to Kent Green of Chicago, who until Ali lost to Joe Frazier in 1971 as a pro, could say he was the last person to defeat the champion. Under Stoner's guidance, Clay went on to win 6 Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, 2 national Golden Gloves titles, an Amateur Athletic Union National Title, and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Ali's record was 100 wins, 5 losses when he ended his amateur career.
After his Olympic triumph, he returned to Louisville to begin his professional career. There, on October 29, 1960, Cassius Clay won his first professional fight, a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker. From 1960 to 1963, the young fighter amassed a record of 19-0, with 15 knockouts. He built a reputation by correctly predicting the round in which he would finish several opponents, and by boasting before his triumphs. Clay admitted he adopted the latter practice from Gorgeous George, an otherwise mediocre TV wrestler, who drew thousands of fans to arenas in their hopes to see him lose, and thus be "shut up".
Sonny Liston 1965
Henry Cooper 1966
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Brian London 1966 - count the punches
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