Muhammad Ali: Journey of "The Greatest"
Follow the travels of the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. As a heavyweight boxing champ and humanitarian, he's been all around the world, including Scotland, Egypt and the Philippines.
Louisville, KentuckyMuhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in Louisville, KY, on Jan.17, 1942. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that he acquired a passion for boxing. His bike had been stolen in front of the city’s Columbia Auditorium; young Cassius Clay vowed to “whip the robber’s butt.” Soon he began training to become a boxer. 960 1280
Miami Beach, FloridaBlack Muslim leader Malcolm X, behind the soda fountain, jokes with tux-clad Cassius Clay. The 2 notable men meet in a Miami Beach restaurant surrounded by jubilant fans after the boxer beats Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship of the world title on Feb. 25, 1964. 960 1280
Miami's 5th Street GymAmerican heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay (center) poses in the ring in a mock victory over The Beatles at the 5th Street Gym in Miami before his first WBA/WBC World Heavyweight title fight against Sonny Liston (Feb. 22, 1964). The Beatles are visiting the US for the first time. On the canvas, left to right: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. 960 1280
London's Apollo Victoria TheaterOn March 6, 1964, Cassius Clay, Jr. converts to the Nation of Islam and religious leader Elijah Muhammad gives him his new name, Muhammad Ali, which means “praiseworthy one.” The professional boxer becomes a vocal activist, who travels around the world to speak before thousands of people, including here at the New Victoria Theater in London (pictured). 960 1280
Madison Square GardenBanned from boxing for 3 1/2 years for not serving in the Vietnam War, Cassius Clay returns to the ring in a boxing match against WBC/WBA world heavyweight boxing champ Joe Frazier. Ali would lose to Frazier in the match called the “Fight of the Century,” held at NYC’s Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971. 960 1280
Kinshasa, Zaire (Congo)On Oct. 30, 1974, Ali challenges George Foreman for the WBC/WBA World Heavyweight title at 20 Mai Stadium in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). Ali’s “rope-a-dope” strategy tires Foreman down, allowing Ali to knock out Foreman in the 8th round and eventually win the title. 960 1280
Las VegasContrary to what this picture may indicate, Muhammad Ali would go on to lose to Leon Spinks in this split-decision boxing match held in Las Vegas on Feb. 15, 1978. Six months later, Ali wins back the heavyweight title in a rematch at the Superdome in New Orleans. Ali losses his last 2 boxing matches of his boxing career before he officially retires with a record of 56 wins and 5 losses, retaining his unofficial title as the greatest boxer of all time. 960 1280
The VaticanIn 1982, Pope John Paul II and the former US heavyweight boxing champion sign autographs for each other at the end of their meeting at the Vatican. Two years later, Ali announces he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He would soon step into a new arena -- as a humanitarian. In 1990, Ali visits Iraq to negotiate with Saddam Hussein for the release of 14 American hostages. 960 1280
Muhammad Ali CenterIn 2005, the Muhammad Ali Center opens in Louisville, KY. Ali and his family continue to devote their time to the center, and to raise awareness and organize fundraisers for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute -- in hopes of finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease. 960 1280
Summer Olympics Through the Years 26 Photos