8th May 2018

muhammad ali

background: Muhammad Ali was not only a champion boxer but a philanthropist and social activist regarded by the whole world as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. he became a Olympic gold medalist in 1960 and the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964. at an early age Muhammad Ali showed that he did not shy away from any fight in or out of the ring, growing up in a segregated environment Muhammad experienced racial prejudice and discrimination. at the age of 12 was when Ali’s boxing talent was discovered by random coincidence when his bike was stolen, and Ali went and told a police officer, Joe Martin that he wanted to beat up the thief, the police officer told Ali “Well, you better learn how to fight before you start challenging people,” Joe Martin was also trainer for young boxers at a local gym. Ali started to learn how to spar with Joe Martin, shortly starting his boxing career. he won his first ever amateur bout by split decision in 1954, and went on to win the 1956 golden gloves tournament. three years later he won the national golden gloves tournament of champions. in 1964 he went up against the favored Sonny Liston, before the fight Ali was taunting Liston by promising to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” in which he does knocking Liston out cold in the 7th round. This triumph inspires Ali to invent the iconic phrase “i am the greatest” Muhammad Ali joined the black Muslim group the Nation of Islam in 1964. he decided he wanted to change his name at first he called himself “Cassius X” before settling on the name Muhammad Ali. he then converted to orthodox Islam during the 1970s. Muhammad Ali started a different kind of fight with his controversial outspoken views against the Vietnam War when he refused to serve the US military. 

State your POINT: i believe that Muhammad Ali has had a huge impact and influence on his society and culture, by stepping out of his comfort zone and achieving something significant. Ali forced society to confront feelings about civil rights, race, religion and war, even for people who didn’t care about boxing one bit. he set an example of racial pride for African Americans and resistance to white domination during the civil rights movement in 1964 when he changed his name from Cassius Marcellus Clay to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. Ali’s motivation to change his name came from his belief that he was not a free man being called Cassius Clay, as he quotes “Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn’t choose it and I don’t want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name, it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me.” 

Muhammad Ali then stepped out of his comfort zone again by starting a different kind of fight with his controversial views against the Vietnam War. Ali was stripped of his champion heavyweight title and fined 10,000 us dollars, now worth 80,000 when drafted into the military in April 1967, but refused to serve on terms that he was a practicing Muslim minister with religious beliefs that prevented him from fighting. he quoted “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong, “They never called me nigger.”  according to the Islam religion you are not supposed to take part in war unless declared by Allah. He was then arrested for committing a felony and stripped of his world title and his  boxing license was suspended for three years. this demonstrates Ali’s strong beliefs and values by potentially ruining his promising boxing career in order to stay loyal and truthful to his belief and religion, by having this strong willed mind is what made him have such a powerful impact on not only his society but on the generations to come.  

after a long legal trial and his appeal against his original conviction alis boxing license was restored. this allowed him to make a return to the boxing world and show everyone that he really is the greatest of all time.

conclusion: from my speech i hope for you to have gained not only an understanding of who one of the worlds greatest sportsman of all time but how having strong morals and values 

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