How Famous Was Muhammad Ali

By Tiara

People all over the world know who Muhammed Ali is, but few people outside of Africa recognize his heritage. He is famous for being an incredible boxer, entrepreneur, social activist, and role model to many. While some may consider him more known for his controversial statements than anything else, he did make several significant contributions to our society that have improved other people’s lives.

He was born in Louisville, Kentucky as Cassius Marcellus Clay. When he was 13 years old, his family moved to Detroit so that he could get a good education. It wasn’t long before he started showing talent in boxing and soon after, he made his professional debut.

His first televised bout was against Sonny Banks which he won by knockout. After this success, he was offered a contract with Madison Square Garden where he would face Italian champion Bruno Corti. This match would earn him the nickname “The Great White Hope” due to his status as the underdog against someone of European origin.

After winning this fight via technical decision, he changed his last name from Clay to Lewis. The media picked up on this new identity immediately and it stuck, becoming his legal surname. During this time period, sports commentators were not very politically correct and often used derogatory terms when talking about African Americans. With this change, his manager thought it was appropriate to use Mahoma as his middle name.

First Muslim sports superstar

how famous was muhammad ali

The world knows him for his incredible boxing skills, but not many know that he was one of the first people to ever promote Islam as a way of life. He even coined the term “Muslim” in an interview!

Ali made his religion known when he spoke about it with George Plimpton during a 1971 interview for The Paris-Match Magazine. During this conversation, Ali mentioned how he prayed five times per day and gave examples of prayers. He also talked about fasting during Ramadan and giving up alcohol during the month long holiday.

He said, “I believe in only one God and I try to be good — very good.” When asked if there is another path besides faith in Allah, he replied, “No. Once you find out who Jesus Christ is, then you have found the truth.”

This shows how much of a believer he was and how important Christianity is to Islam. Many Muslims strive to live by the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadith (the sayings and actions of the Prophet). They are aware of some similarities between the two religions and the importance of Jesus within them.

Many Christians recognize these qualities in the person of Muhammad and consider him to be a prophet like themselves. His influence still lives on today, helping others feel comfortable with their own beliefs.

Changed how people viewed Muslims

how famous was muhammad ali

Before he became known as “The Greatest,” Muhammed Ali was just another kid with big dreams living in what some would call the inner city. He dreamed of being a professional boxer and winning many championships.

He didn’t have much money or material possessions but he worked hard to achieve his goals. When he wasn’t working or studying, he was spending time with friends and family.

Ali wanted to be famous though. He wanted everyone to know who he was and about him. So, he made sure he always had something going on.

People noticed!

He gave speeches at schools and universities. He did media interviews and appeared on talk shows. He even hosted an afternoon television show for several years where he interviewed different artists and professionals.

All this activity helped make him well-known but it also hurt his personal life. It took away from time he could have spent with his wife and kids.

His success also led to more criticism against Islam. Some people accused him of not loving Jesus enough which is totally false. In fact, he loved Christ very much and referred to himself as Christian almost every chance he got.

Ali never denied being Muslim either. Even when asked if there was any part of him that felt like he was less than someone else because he failed to reach their level of religious knowledge, he said no.

Helped push back against the Vietnam War

how famous was muhammad ali

World famous athlete Muhammad Ali made his name as one of the greatest boxers of all time, but he did not stay retired for long. He returned to boxing in 1964 at age 26 when he was banned from competition due to refusing to be inducted into the military because of his religion.

He fought under the Muhammed Ali nickname until 1977, during which he won every championship up for grabs including the heavyweight title twice.

After that, he never lost again. He is still considered among the top five heavyweights ever even though he competed past this position.

Ali’s legacy goes beyond just his boxing career, however. For example, he helped promote diversity and inclusion through sports by speaking out about social issues like racism and sexism.

He also inspired many people with his work ethic and self-sacrifice for others. He gave everything he had while competing and always put himself first outside of athletics. This influenced how other professional athletes approach their jobs.

Sportswriters respect him for being candid and direct with his opinions, something that wasn’t common before his retirement. His writing style has been copied many times since he stopped doing it.


Won the Thrilla in Manila

how famous was muhammad ali

In 1980, just three years before he would pass away, Muhammad Ali was named The Greatest of All Time by ESPN’s sports television show, SportsCenter. This is one of the highest honors you can achieve as an athlete.

Ali received this prestigious award for his legendary boxing career that began with him winning gold at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He went onto become arguably the greatest heavyweight champion ever, defeating some of the biggest names like George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, and Sonny Liston.

He also made history outside of competition, actively campaigning against the Vietnam War and using his platform to bring attention to social issues such as poverty and racism.

But aside from all of that, what people really remember about Muhammad Ali are his incredible speeches and interviews. They say if there’s a way to make someone laugh, then you have found your winner. Ali had so many memorable moments, it feels impossible to choose only five!

His best include probably his famous statement after being asked who was better, Bruce Lee or himself: “I am bigger than life- size. I contain multitudes.

One of the most well-known athletes of the 20th century

how famous was muhammad ali

People all over the world know who Muhammad Ali is, he’s one of the biggest names in sports history. He was famous for his boxing skills, but also for being an outspoken political activist.

Ali made his name as the Heavyweight Champion of the World, winning The Fight Of The Century against George Foreman back in 1974. Since then, he has won 9 more championship belts, including 5x Undisputed Champion, 4x Lineal Championship (champion of champions), and 2x WBA Champinship.

He also holds several other titles that don’t get officially recognized by major athletic organizations, like “King of Boxing” and “The Greatest.”

But beyond just his success in the ring, what makes him special isn’t just how many championships he won or how much money he earned, it’s his legacy as an athlete and a public figure.

Ali influenced many other famous athletes

how famous was muhammad ali

Many professional football, basketball, and baseball players have said that they were inspired by Ali’s work ethic and dedication to his craft. He was known for always putting in the effort and going above and beyond what needed to be done, even if he wasn’t feeling very well or felt tired.

Football player Calvin Johnson mentioned how much of an influence Ali was on him while growing up. He says, “He made me want to make people like myself feel good about themselves. I wanted to do my job as best I could so people would respect me and give me credit for it.”

Basketball star Shaquille O’Neal says that Ali had a profound effect on his life and career because he taught him how to motivate himself and focus on being the best he can be.

Baseball great Rickey Henderson also gave praise to Ali, saying that he was one of his biggest inspirations due to his work ethic. He says that Ali never let anyone else enjoy success more than him and that motivated him to strive harder.

Passed away in 2016

how famous was muhammad ali

The passing of Muhammad Ali is one of those sad events that leaves people speechless. He made an incredible legacy as one of the greatest boxers ever, but he also left his mark outside of the boxing ring.

Ali was known for being outspoken and controversial at all times. He would say anything to get attention or promote his brands. But none of his comments were boring!

He was famous not just for what he said, but how he said it. His rousing speeches and dramatic reactions set him apart from other public figures.

His charisma and appeal extended beyond sports as well. He starred in several movies and became very popular due to his acting skills.

He will be remembered forever for both his athletic accomplishments and his influence off-the-field.

Followed Muhammad Ali

how famous was muhammad ali

Many people consider him to be one of, if not the greatest boxer ever. He was ranked as the best pound for pound fighter several times throughout his career. This is due to his incredible success in boxing and how close he came to achieving greatness outside of the ring.

Ali followed an unconventional path to becoming one of the most famous men in America. He did things like say racist comments and joke about killing black people. However, he always seemed to redeem himself later by apologizing or clarifying his statements.

He also refused to accept money that was being offered to fight someone who didn’t match up well with him. In other words, he wouldn’t participate in what seems like a totally fake contest.

His legacy will live on long after he died since he left behind many great stories. His passion for sports helped make him very popular and he inspired lots of young people to get into sports.

His desire to win made it easy to admire him and feel motivated to try harder when you watch him compete.