Muhammad Ali

I hated every minute of training but I said, “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

A quote said by a very influential boxer by the name of Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali, an American man who was a world renowned Boxer, being World Heavyweight Champion 10 times, along with a gold medal at the Rome Olympics in 1960.

Muhammad Ali, originally know as Cassius Clay jnr. was born in Kentucky, USA on the 17th of January 1942. With self-motivation and self-belief Muhammad Ali made a name for himself, putting him in the position he is today. With a total of 61 fights, in his professional career, he had 56 wins, 37 of them by KO and only 5 losses; he is a true sporting champion. He wasn’t only a boxer but a poet too. Ali influenced people by the poetry he said, along with the belief he had in himself.

Muhammad Ali was directed to boxing by a local Louisville police officer and boxing coach after they encountered him fuming over the theft of his bicycle at the age of 12. In Ali’s amateur boxing career he won many titles such as: six Kentucky Golden Gloves, two national Golden Gloves, Amateur Athletic Union National Title and the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics. Muhammad Ali also had an astonishing 100 wins to 5 losses in his amateur career.

One of Muhammad Ali’s influential times in his boxing career was when he threw his Olympic gold medal in the Ohio River. Ali did this because he was refused service at a ‘whites-only’ restaurant, even after he represented the country in the Olympics and won gold. This influenced people of all nationalities in the way he made a stand on something that was important to him and people look up to him because of that. Ali didn’t want to feel like a slave to white people and by him throwing his medal in the Ohio River was a symbol of what he believes in.

Power over people wasn’t an intention of Muhammad Ali but it was him getting power over himself and then giving advice. By Ali telling himself and the world he was the best was only to convince himself. It may be taken at arrogance but really it was for self-good. People followed him because of that, especially sports enthusiasts. On top of this Muhammad Ali used his poetry skills in a way to help people to achieve their goals not only in sport but also with life.

Some say Muhammad Ali was corrupt and plain stupid, but with his power Ali proved to himself and the world that he is the greatest boxer of all time and to show this, he was crowned in 1999 by Sports Illustrated the ‘Sportsman of the Century’. Ali has influenced people in many different ways all for the good, with his motivation coming from the determination and desperation to succeed from within. Muhammad Ali is a good influential, sporting legend with all good intentions.

– by Matty Gunn, 10ENG

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali earned his power through his ability as a boxer. He gained the respect of his peers, fans and the media. The words he said were heard by almost everyone all over the world and had great influence over many people. Through his boxing he was able to grow in social stature and the things he said and did were able to change people’s ideas about certain issues, more specifically the Vietnam War.

Muhammad Ali, who was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jnr, was born on the 17th of January 1942, was a professional boxer. Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky and was the younger of two boys. Ali began boxing at 12 years old after having his bike stolen and wanted to ‘Whump’ the boy who had stolen it. After an amateur career which included six Kentucky Golden Gloves and a Gold Medal at the 1960 Olympics Ali began his professional career. In a professional career that spanned 21 years Ali had a record of 56 wins, 37 by knockout,  and only 5 losses.

Muhammad Ali didn’t have then conventional power that most leaders have but he had the ability to influence people decisions and ideas about topics. Ali had gotten his power through his skill at boxing, when he became world champ people he had earned the respect of the boxing community. His loud mouth nature meant that he attracted a lot of media attention, which then got his notoriety up and people from all corners of the world had heard of the man who called himself ‘The Greatest’. Ali had power over all of his fans and the media who both hung off his every word, with a microphone in his face most of the time not much of what he said went unheard. Also after converting to the nation of Islam Ali had gained the respect and power of the Islamic community, in joining Islam he had also gained some friends in high places like Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad.

Ali was at the height of his fame around the time of the Vietnam War, with American men being drafted into the army to fight in Vietnam Ali was expected to go to war like everyone else. But he had a different view on the idea, declining his drafting and facing the $10,000 fine and 5 years in prison penalty.

I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me Nigger.

As a consequence of his power and fame this decision rocked not only the boxing community but the whole world.  Although he didn’t actually spend any time behind bars he did have to spend 3 years out of the ring as a consequence of his beliefs and actions.

As soon as he had done his penalty Ali was straight back in the ring, when he fought George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ one of the biggest fights in boxing history. In this fight Ali regained his World Champion title once again.

Every decision that Ali made had some kind of good intention behind it, he wasn’t corrupted by his power didn’t turn into some kind of power hungry animal. Overall, I believe that Muhammad Ali falls into the good category, he stood up for the right things and promoted the acceptance all races kind of living. As well as being one of the best boxers of all time he was also one of the most influential people ever.

– by Tom Grayson, 10ENG