Muhammad Ali Biography

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No athlete has transcended the sport, shook up the world, and left the mark on history the way Muhammad Ali did. Millions idolize him after the peak of his career, but few know his overshadowed origin. Before he became the greatest, he proclaimed himself the greatest. Before he became a champion, he was a contender. Before he became Muhammad Ali, he was Cassius Clay. Ali first changed his name to Cassius X after he officially joined Nation of Islam. Later, he was honored with another name by Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, and later became Muhammad Ali. He gratefully accepted his new name as he said that Cassius Clay was a slave name forced on his family by their slave master. Cassius Clay did not just change his name to Muhammad…show more content…
Cassius Clay was greatly inspired by how a professional wrestler named Gorgeous George whom he met during a radio program sold out the stadium by trash talking his opponents (Capouya, 2008). Not long after that, he promoted his fights much more aggressively, and became incredibly successful at selling the fight thanks to his wits, charisma, and innovative self-promotion techniques such as predicting the round that his opponents would be knocked out, and composing poems that were immensely quotable. His rhymes were as sharp as his jabs, and his phrases were as powerful as his hooks. For instance, as quoted by Wiedmer (2012) in prefight build-up against Archie Moore, the former world champion, he delivered this work of poetry, "Archie's been living off the fat of the land. I'm here to give him his pension plan. When you come to the fight don't block the door. 'Cause you'll all go home after round four” Clay sold out the arena, knocked Moore out in round 4, and gained tremendous publicity. The public loved his speech, but everything quickly turned ugly after he joined the Nation of Islam, and became Muhammad Ali. His involvement with the notorious organization that preached race separation as opposed to integration ruined his reputation, and as a result, many American citizens soon turned against him. Nevertheless, Ali was ready to face the consequences; he embraced the role of a villain, and fought fire with fire. He defended his belief zealously, and would reply to those who attacked him verbally with even more offensive terms. Like how Floyd Patterson, the beloved champion and boxing gentleman, who announced to cleanse Black Muslim’s influence from boxing and refused to call Ali by his Muslim name was dubbed as an

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