Born Cassius Clay on January 17th 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky, Alimade his mark on the world of sports early on. Starting his amateur career in 1954, before turning pro in 1960. He would take home the heavyweight championship in 1964 after defeating Sonny Liston in one of the most stunning upsets in the history of the sport. This would only last three years, because in 1967 he refused the draft in the Vietnam War.

Draft evasion, criminal charges, and being stripped of the heavyweight championship

It was April 27th, 1967 that Ali refused to join the armed forces. He didn't believe in the cause saying that he "had no quarrel with those Vietcong." Following this he was sentenced five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and stripped of his title. He would not serve the jail time, but he was banned from the ring for three years, and would not fight again until October of 1970.

The return to the ring, Joe Frazier, and The Rumble in the Jungle

October 26th, 1970 Ali returned with a third round knockout against Jerry Quarry. However it would be short lived with his first professional defeat coming against Joe Frazier in March of 1971. He would get his revenge in 1974 with a rematch at MSG, defeating Frazier by decision. 1974 would continue to be a good year for Ali, with a stunning defeat against the much younger, and powerful George Foreman in Zaire, Africa. Ali would knock out the heavily favored Foreman in the eighth round.

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Retirement, and health issues

Ali would continue to fight throughout the 70's and in 1979 he would announce his retirement from boxing. This was short lived, because in 1980 he would return to the ring to fight Larry Holmes, and would lose in the 11th round. He would fight Trevor Berbick on December 11th 1981, he would lose once again, and this would be the final fight in the incredible career of Muhammad Ali. He would finish his professional career with a 56-5 record. In 1984 it would be revealed that Ali had Parkinson's disease.

Life after boxing

Ali would not let the disease slow him down, dedicating a lot of his post boxing years to philanthropy. Donating to countless causes including, the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Special Olympics, starting his own charity for Parkinson's disease. He traveled all over the world helping those indeed, and in 1996 he lit the torch in the summer Olympic games. This is of course just a small summary of the great achievements in the life of one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Being a great boxer doesn't even begin to describe this man, he was loved by everyone around him. He was known to have a great sense of humor, even in his older days he loved to laugh and joke around. Ali brought joy to so many people around the world, he will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

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