Muhammad Ali beat more champions and top contenders than any heavyweight champion in history. He defeated heavyweight kings Sonny Liston (twice), Floyd Patterson (twice), Ernie Terrell, Jimmy Ellis, Ken Norton (twice), Joe Frazier (twice), George Foreman and Leon Spinks. He defeated light-heavyweight champs Archie Moore and Bob Foster. Ali defeated European heavyweight champions Henry Cooper, Karl Mildenberger, Jürgen Blin, Joe Bugner, Richard Dunn, Jean-Pierre Coopman and Alfredo Evangelista. He defeated British and Commonwealth king Brian London. All of Ali's defeats were by heavyweight champions: Frazier, Norton, Spinks, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. Ali also beat undefeated fighters Sonny Banks (12-0), Billy Daniels (16-0), 'Rudi Lubbers' (21-0) and George Foreman (40-0).IMDb Mini Biography By: angelsunchained (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)
|Yolonda Williams||(19 November 1986 - present) 1 child|
|Verónica Porche Ali||(19 June 1977 - July 1986) (divorced) 2 children|
|Khalilah 'Belinda' Ali||(17 August 1967 - 1977) (divorced) 4 children|
|Sonji Roi||(14 August 1964 - 10 January 1966) (divorced)|
Trademark phrase: "Floats Like A Butterfly and Stings Like a Bee"
Predicting the round in which his opponents would fall
The Ali Shuffle
Former heavyweight boxing champion
Light heavyweight boxing gold medalist, 1960 Olympics. World heavyweight boxing champion, 1964-1967, 1974-1978, 1978-1979. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, 1990.
Ali learned early from the outrageous bad-guy wrestler, Gorgeous George, that it could pay to be hated. Ali said "I saw fifteen thousand people coming to see this man get beat, and his talking did it. I said, this is a goo-o-o-d idea!" Then Ali refined that talking concept to what has been referred to as The Louisville Lip.
Son of Odessa Clay
Younger brother of Rahaman Ali.
Inducted into the Sport in Society Hall of Fame, 1994.
Suffers from Parkinson's Syndrome, caused by the numerous blows to the head during his boxing career.
Lit the torch at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Took in interest in boxing when his bike was stolen by local hoods.
Has a record of 56-5 with 37 KOs.
Children: Daughters Rasheeda and Jamilla (twins) and Maryum (by Belinda Boyd); Miya, Khalilah, Hana Ali and Laila Ali (by Verónica Porche Ali). Sons Muhammed, Jr. (by Boyd); Asaad (adopted with Yolonda Williams).
In order to pay his legal fees (since he was barred from boxing), Ali hit the college lecture circuit and even starred in the Broadway Musical "Buck White".
In June, 1967, Ali was convicted of violating the Selective Service Act (knowingly and willfully refusing to report for and submit to induction into the armed forces), and was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $100,000. On appeal, Ali claimed he was denied due process because the ratio of blacks on draft boards did not reflect their ratio in the population. But, the three member Presidential Draft Board, formed by President Lyndon Johnson to prevent such scenarios (and included a black member) ruled his objection was invalid, and that he was not entitled to conscientious objector status as a minister of the Islamic Religion (what he stated as his profession). Morever, in an April, 1966 letter to his local draft board, Ali protested that two years of military service would cause him serious financial loss in being unable to pursue his livelihood as a boxer, NOT as a minister.
In 1962, Ali signed for Selective Service, but he failed the mental aptitude test, and was classified 1-Y (unfit for service). But, when the US armed forces required more soldiers for the Vietnam War, the pass-percentage marks for the tests were dropped to 15, meaning that Ali (and thousands of other men) was re-classified 1-A, now fit for service.
Contrary to popular belief, he was stripped of his boxing license by the State of New York and his title by the World Boxing Association when he converted to Islam. The World Boxing Council, however, recognized him as champ throughout his battle with the US government over his refusal to be inducted into the Army.
Married second wife Khalilah 'Belinda' Ali when she was 17.
Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, 1986.
Legend has it that Ali threw his 1960 Olympic gold medal into the river, when in reality he just simply lost it at some point in time.
Recorded an album for Epic Records in 1964 titled "I Am The Greatest." Sam Cooke produced one of the songs from the LP, "The Gang's All Here." A single, his version of "Stand By Me" was released just after his first Liston fight,in 1964, and received some airplay.
Is referenced in the song "Powder Blue" by the US band Ween.
Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, 1983 (charter member).
Has portrayed himself in four different motion pictures.
His maternal great-grandfather was Abe Grady, a native of Ireland
Had an amateur boxing record of 127 wins and only 5 defeats.
From 1963 to 1966 he successfully defended the heavyweight title 9 times.
Inactive for 3 and a half years while fighting his draft evasion case in court.
Voted sports personality of the Century in England
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on 9 November 2005. Other recipients were Frank Robinson, Gen. Richard Myers, Paul Rusesabagina, Carol Burnett, Andy Griffith, Aretha Franklin, Vint Cerf and his Internet co-developer Robert Kahn, Jack Nicklaus, Alan Greenspan and former congressman Sonny Montgomery.
As an amateur, Ali was only knocked-out once in over 110 fights, by Kent Green on a 3rd round technical knockout. Green went on to a 14-2 pro boxing record.
In 62 pro boxing matches, Ali was only stopped once; by Larry Holmes on a technical knockout. Ali was never counted out, but was unable to come out for round 11 in their title fight.
When Ali stopped Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Title, Liston had not lost a fight in over 10 years.
Received the Otto Hahn peace medal for his "life-long engagement in the American civil rights movement and the global cultural emancipation of blacks, as well as his work as a UN Goodwill ambassador". (December 2005)
In 62 pro boxing matches, he was only stopped once; by Larry Holmes on a technical knockout. He wasn't counted out, but was unable to come out for round 11 in their title fight.
His maternal grandmother's paternal grandfather was of Anglo-Saxon descent, and he is related to--among other notables--US Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Benjamin Harrison VI, Confedrate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. George C. Marshall' and Gen. George S. Patton. He is also related to actors Lee Marvin, Glenn Close, Laura Dern and Hilary Duff, journalist Katie Couric and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Was featured in a "Pizza Hut" boxing commercial alongside David Bortolucci and Ali's real-life trainer Angelo Dundee, which was meant to air during the 1998 Super Bowl but was pulled at the very last moment for being too violent. It was estimated that the entire incident Pizza Hut tens of millions of dollars.
Wanted the role of "Bilal" in The Message (1977) but the film's director nixed the idea.
Father-in-law of Curtis Conway.
Was photographed with American actor David J. Silver during his visit to Arizona. He attended a lavish dinner at the Palms Hotel in Paradise Valley for his famed 2004 Fight Night Celebrity charity at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix.
The only fighter to score a KO of George Foreman and Oscar Bonnavena.
The only fighter to win a decision over Joe Frazier (their second fight).
Ali was arguably actually a four-time World Heavyweight Champion. In 1965, after signing to fight dethroned champion 'Sonny Liston' for a rematch, a fight that was not sanctioned in many areas, Ali was stripped by The World Boxing Association of their recognition of him as Heavyweight Champion. The WBA sanctioned an elimination match between contenders Ernie Terrell and Eddie Machen to determine who the Heavyweight Champion would be. Terrell won by a 15-round decision and was the WBA champion for two years. Most sanctioning bodies and the general public still recognized Ali as the true champion. He regained the WBA Heavyweight Championship and unified the Heavyweight Championship by winning a 15-round decision over Terrell in 1967, only to be stripped of the title again several months later because of his refusal to register the military draft. He later won the title on two more occasions from George Foreman and Leon Spinks, reversing a previous loss to Spinks.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, CA.
Ali is the first heavyweight champion in the history of boxing to lose his title to a novice (who had only seven professional fights). This occurred when Ali lost to Leon Spinks on February 15, 1978.
He first decided to take boxing lessons when neighborhood bullies stole his bike and he wanted to get back at them.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
At home I am a nice guy - but I don't want the world to know. Humble people, I've found, don't get very far.
When you're as great as I am, it's hard to be humble.
It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.
Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
You can't hit what you can't see; I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!
[after being rejected by the US army during the Vietnam war because he failed the "intelligenc" test] I never said I was the smartest, I said I was the greatest.
I won a gold medal representing the USA at the Olympic Games in 1960, but when I came home I still got treated like a nigger. There were restaurants I couldn't get served in. Some people kept calling me "boy".
Sonny Liston is too ugly to be world heavyweight champion!.
[on challenger Henry Cooper] If he talks some jive, I'll knock him out in round five.
I'm soooooooooooooooooo pretty!!!
I'm gonna float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, George [George Foreman] can't hit what his eyes can't see, now you see me, now you don't, he thinks he will but I know he won't.
My toughest fight was my first wife.
I don't admire nobody but Elvis Presley. He was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd ever meet.
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
I ain't got nothing against them Vietcong.
(January 2002) 1/11/02: Given star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, but, at Ali's insistence, it will be installed in the facade of the Kodak Theatre, the new home of the Oscars.
(August 2006) Berrien County, Michigan in the town of Berrien Springs, MI,USA 49103-0187.
(2005) Release of the book, "Muhammad Ali: Unseen Archives" by William Stratmore.
(2004) Release of the book, "Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey" by Muhammad Ali and his daughter, Hana Ali.
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.