Muhammad Ali, The Greatest Showman Boxing Has Ever Seen
By | September 27, 2017
Was Muhammad Ali the greatest showman? Sure -- just ask Muhammad Ali. "I am the greatest" was his mantra and, for entertainment value and cinematic charisma, he was right. Muhammad Ali was a very good boxer, but he was not unbeatable. But in terms of sports personalities -- or celebrity personalities -- he was on the highest plane. Muhammad Ali was charmingly cocky, he was an entertaining braggart, he was an entrancing presence whether you liked boxing or not.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., in 1942. Throughout his spectacular career, Ali boxed under the names of Cassius Clay and later Muhammad Ali, after converting from Baptist to Muslim. He passed away in 2016 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was one of the most celebrated athletes of our time -- for both his skill in the boxing ring and his larger-than-life charisma.
Young Cassius Clay expressed an interest in the sport of boxing as early as 1954 at the tender age of 12 years old. As the story goes, young Cassius, who'd had his bicycle stolen, told local police he would find and "whup" the thief. The police advised him to learn to box first, and he took them up on their offer. Clay trained with a local Louisville police officer and began his amateur boxing career. He won six Kentucky Golden Gloves titles, two National Golden Gloves titles, and an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national title. In 1960, Clay traveled to the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Italy, and won the gold medal in the light heavyweight class. When he concluded his amateur career, Cassius Clay's record was 100 wins against just five losses.