322. Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Boxer
The greatest boxer of the modern era is
Ali. There is generally no question about this
the boxing circles. However, there are those who
argue that there were others who were just
great. Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and
first called Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., but changed
name in the late 1960s after adopting Islam
Ali was not only one of
greatest heavyweight boxers ever to step into the
, but also a deeply spiritual person who defied
United States government by standing on his ethics.
was a controversial and divisive man who elicited
emotion from those who loved him, and those
wanted him jailed.
Ali was on top of
profession in the late 60s when his draft
was changed. He was ordered to enlist in
Army, but he refused. He claimed that he
not go to war because of his religious
. Many saw this move by the U.S. government
a way to silence the outspoken boxer because
was well beyond the age most young American
were being drafted at the time. Ali was
of his title, and was banned from boxing,
his case went through the U.S. court system.
was inactive during his ablest years from the
25 to almost 29. There is no telling
many more victories and titles he could have
during his stolen prime.
Eventually, the U.S. Supreme
ruled in an 8 - 0 decision in
's favor, overturning his conviction of draft evasion. His
was not popular at the time among conservative
; many people disliked him very much, but his
and moral principles held up his decision. He
now regarded as one of the most influential
in the history of the U.S. He was
"Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated magazine,
"Sports Personality of the Century" by the BBC.