Today we mark the three year anniversary of Cassius Marcellus Clay, a.k.a. Muhammad Ali’s death.
“The Greatest” was one of the most electrifying persons during his time, as he was not only one of the best heavyweights ever, but a phenomenal human being also.
The champ died on this date in 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S, at the age of 74. He held a professional record of 56 wins and only 5 loses, as he was a three-time world heavyweight champion and he captured a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome.
In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the US military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, and stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, but he had not fought for nearly four years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete.
His actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, and he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement. As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam (NOI). He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, and supporting racial integration like his former mentor Malcolm X.
Muhammad Ali defeated every top heavyweight in his era, which has been called the golden age of heavyweight boxing. He was named “Fighter of the Year” by The Ring magazine more times than any other fighter and was involved in more Ring “Fight of the Year” bouts than any other fighter.
He was an inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and held wins over seven other Hall of Fame inductees. He was one of only three boxers to be named “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated.
In honor of the great man he was, we’ve selected some of the most iconic moments of Ali outside and inside the ring.