On This Day

Muhammad Ali

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Scott Woodham Photography / Shutterstock.com

Full Name: Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.
Profession: Heavyweight Boxing Champion

United States of America

Biography: Born Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali was known as "The Greatest" and as one of the most famous athletes of the 20th Century.

Ali won his first heavyweight boxing title aged 22 against Sonny Liston and converted to the Nation of Islam shortly after, changing his name.

He refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War and was thus barred from fighting for nearly 4 years. On his return to boxing Ali won such memorable bouts as the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" in Zaire and "The Thriller in Manila" in 1975.

He has described his boxing style as "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee".

Born: January 17, 1942
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Snake
Star Sign: Capricorn

Died: June 3, 2016 (aged 74)
Cause of Death: Septic shock caused by respiratory illness

Articles and Photos

Married Life

  • 1964-08-14 World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali (22) weds cocktail waitress Sonja Roi
  • 1986-11-19 Hall of Fame boxing champ Muhammad Ali (44) weds Yolanda Williams

Historical Events

  • 1960-09-05 Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] beats 3-time European champion Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland by unanimous points decision to win Olympic light heavyweight boxing gold medal at the Rome Games
  • 1960-10-29 Cassius Clay's [Muhammad Ali] 1st professional fight; beats Tunney Hunsaker on points in 6 rounds in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1964-02-25 Muhammad Ali [Cassius Clay] wins his first world heavyweight boxing title when Sonny Liston fails to come out for round 7 at the Convention Center, Miami Beach
  • 1964-03-06 Boxing legend Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to "Muhammad Ali", calling his former title a "slave name"
  • 1965-05-25 Muhammad Ali KOs Sonny Liston at 2:12 of round 1 at Central Maine Civic Center, Lewiston to retain his WBC/WBA heavyweight boxing title
  • 1965-11-22 In his second title defence, Muhammad Ali scores 12th-round KO of Floyd Patterson at Las Vegas Convention Center to retain his world heavyweight boxing championship
  • 1966-03-29 Muhammad Ali beats George Chuvalo in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1966-05-21 Muhammad Ali TKOs Henry Cooper in 6 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1966-08-06 Muhammad Ali knocks out English boxer Brian London in round 3 at Earl's Court in London to retain his undisputed world heavyweight title
  • 1966-09-10 Muhammad Ali TKOs Karl Mildenberger in 12 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1966-11-14 Muhammad Ali TKOs Cleveland Williams in 3 for heavyweight title
  • 1967-01-12 Louisville, Kentucky draft board refuses exemption for boxer Muhammad Ali
  • 1967-02-06 Muhammad Ali pummels Ernie Terrell for 15 rounds to retain his world heavyweight boxing crown at Houston Astrodome; regains Terrell’s WBA belt as well
  • 1967-03-06 Muhammad Ali is ordered by selective service to be inducted
  • 1967-03-22 Muhammad Ali KOs Zora Folley in 7 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1967-04-28 Muhammad Ali refuses induction into army & stripped of boxing title
  • 1967-05-08 Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction in US Army
  • 1971-03-08 Joe Frazier ends Muhammad Ali's 31-fight winning streak at Madison Square Garden, NYC; retains heavyweight boxing title by unanimous points decision over 15 rounds in the "Fight of the Century"
  • 1971-06-28 US Supreme Court (8-0) overturns draft evasion conviction of Muhammad Ali
  • 1971-12-26 Muhammad Ali finishes off German Jürgen Blin with a thundering right cross for a 7th-round knockout in a non-title heavyweight boxing contest in Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1973-02-14 Muhammad Ali beats British heavyweight boxing champion Joe Bugner by unanimous points decision in 12 rounds at Las Vegas Convention Centre
  • 1973-03-31 Muhammad Ali suffers a broken jaw in a shock split-points decision loss to Ken Norton over 12 rounds in San Diego; Ali wins rematch in another controversial split decision
  • 1973-09-10 Muhammad Ali defeats Ken Norton
  • 1974-10-30 "The Rumble in the Jungle": Muhammad Ali KOs George Foreman in the 8th round in Kinshasa, Zaire; regains world heavyweight boxing title with famous "rope-a-dope" tactic
  • 1975-03-24 Muhammad Ali TKOs Chuck Wepner in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1975-05-16 Muhammad Ali TKOs Ron Lyle in 11 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1975-06-30 Muhammad Ali retains world heavyweight boxing crown by beating Englishman Joe Bugner by unanimous points decision in a re-match in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 1975-10-01 "The Thrilla in Manila"; Muhammad Ali stops Joe Frazier in 14 rounds in Quezon City, the Philippines to retain his WBC/WBA heavyweight title
  • 1976-02-20 Muhammad Ali's bout against Belgian boxer Jean Pierre Coopman in San Juan, Puerto Rico is often regarded as a glorified sparring session; Ali wins by 5th round KO
  • 1976-04-30 Muhammad Ali beats Jimmy Young in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1976-05-24 Muhammad Ali TKOs Richard Dunn in 5 for heavyweight boxing title in Munich
  • 1976-09-28 Muhammad Ali beats Ken Norton in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1977-05-16 Muhammad Ali beats Alfredo Evangelist in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1977-09-29 Muhammad Ali beats Earnie Shavers in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1978-02-15 Leon Spinks beats Muhammad Ali in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1978-09-15 Muhammad Ali beats Leon Spinks in 15 rounds for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1979-06-27 Heavyweight Muhammad Ali confirms that his 3rd retirement is final (it isn't)
  • 1980-10-02 38 year old Muhammad Ali comes out of 2-year retirement to challenge undefeated world heavyweight champion Larry Holmes at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; Ali pounded unmercifully for 10 rounds before corner throws in towel
  • 1981-01-19 Muhammad Ali talks a despondent 21 year old out of committing suicide
  • 1981-12-11 Former world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali's 61st and last fight; loses to Trevor Berbick by unanimous decision in 10 rounds at Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Nassau, Bahamas
  • 1983-01-13 AMA urges ban on boxing, cites Muhammad Ali's deteriorating condition
  • 1987-08-17 Muhammad Ali elected to "Ring" magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame

Biographies and Sources

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