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How Tall Was Muhammad Ali? (Explained)

Former three time heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

 

Muhammad Ali was one of the most famous boxers to ever exist and served as the inspiration for countless generations of boxers.

Best known for his popular quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” Ali was unlike any other boxer in the long history of the sport.

With a nickname like “The Greatest,” few people can live up to such a high expectation throughout their entire careers.

 

How Tall Was Muhammad Ali?

American boxer Muhammad Ali (1942 - 2016), formerly Cassius Clay
(Photo by R. McPhedran/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

Muhammad Ali was 6’2.5” and is considered to be one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.

This legendary boxer was born Cassius Clay, Jr. on January 17th of 1942, and was introduced to boxing at the age of 12 after his bike was stolen.

When young Cassius went to police officer Joe Martin to report the theft, he told Martin that he wanted to beat up the thief.

Martin, who trained young boxers when he was working as a cop, warned young Clay that he should know how to fight before he threatens someone with a fight.

Shortly after he began training with Martin, Cassius Clay fought in his first amateur bout and won by split decision.

Only two years into his boxing career, Clay won the 1956 Golden Gloves tournaments for novices in the light heavyweight category.

In 1959, Clay won the National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions and the Amateur Athletic Union’s national title for the light heavyweight division.

At 18 years old, Cassius Clay competed in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy, and won the light heavyweight Olympic Gold Medal.

Between his impressive size and incredible speed, Clay was called an American Hero and began his professional career with the support of the Louisville Sponsoring Group.

In 1963, the American boxer took out British heavyweight boxer Henry Cooper.

Only a year later, Clay would knock out Sonny Liston for the title of heavyweight champion of the world.

Soon after that fight, Cassius Clay, Jr. converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali wouldn’t experience a single loss in his career until 1971 when Joe Frazier dropped him in the 14th round.

Throughout his career, Ali had 56 wins, 5 losses, and 37 knockouts.

He retired in 1981 at the age of 39 years old after he lost to Trevor Berbick.

 

Is Muhammad Ali Still Alive?

Muhammad Ali onstage
(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research)

 

No, Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3rd of 2016 at the age of 74 after battling Parkinson’s disease for 32 years.

The news of the legendary boxer’s death was delivered by family representative, Bob Gunnell.

For the 32 years that Ali suffered from Parkinson’s disease, he lost the majority of his verbal and physical capability.

When the boxer’s daughter, Rasheda, publicly discussed her father’s death, she was grateful that he no longer had to suffer, no matter how heartbroken she was to lose her “best friend and hero.”

Muhammad Ali was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease only a year after he retired from professional boxing.

According to what he told The New York Times in 1982, his health decline began with a slight slurring of his speech and minor tremors.

At the time, Ali felt that if he had been in perfect health, he could have beaten many of his final opponents.

He didn’t appreciate that people were beginning to pity him, but he was grateful that people finally understood that he was a human being with similar problems as them.

Even as his disease began to progress, this American hero focused on his humanitarian efforts, including traveling to both Lebanon and Iraq to request the release of American prisoners.

However, his health problems were becoming more apparent throughout the 1990s.

When Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic flame for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, his arms shook more fiercely as he lifted the torch.

In 2005, Ali was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

The Muhammad Ali Center was also opened in 2005, which hopes to use Ali’s life story to promote ideals such as respect and tolerance.

Ali’s health took another sudden decline in 2013 before his passing in 2016.

 

What Was Muhammad Ali’s IQ?

Muhammad Ali speaks at the ceremony for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

 

Muhammad Ali had an IQ of 85, despite multiple sources falsely stating that the boxer had an IQ of 78.

It’s believed that this misinformation spawned from the fact that Ali scored in the 16th percentile on the standardized test.

On the standard IQ scale with a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, being in the 16th percentile of Americans would equate to 85 and not 78.

Although some may still consider 85 to be a lower IQ score, it is important to remember that Ali was born in the 1940s and that the average IQ for a boxer is 74.

Muhammad Ali may not have been the most traditionally intelligent person, but he proved that he was more than smart enough to know how to use his strengths to his advantage.

He was an incredibly charismatic individual who cared deeply about the well-being of others.

Throughout his life, Ali met with many of the most influential world leaders.

He met Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth, Fidel Castro, and Saddam Hussein.

Muhammad Ali was such an influential person that former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a public statement about how they were mourning the loss of “The Greatest” American hero.

Obama spoke about how the legendary boxer’s ability to summon enough strength and courage to get through whatever problem lay ahead of him had inspired him throughout his entire life.

The former president keeps a pair of his gloves on display with an image of the boxer shortly after he defeated Sonny Leston.

Muhammad Ali is the perfect example of why IQ tests aren’t an accurate representation of what a person of capable of.

Nobody needs to be the smartest to be the greatest in their passions.

 

How Fast Was Muhammad Ali?

American boxer and world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali
(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

 

Muhammad Ali could throw 12 punches in 2.8 seconds, which is exactly what Brian London had to endure.

Unlike his animal inspiration, Ali never stung just once and London received one of Ali’s most famous beatdowns.

Muhammad Ali fought Brian London on August 6th of 1966 in a heavyweight title fight, where “The Greatest” won 24 to 0.

Although a score of 0 is rarely seen by veteran boxers, London was no rookie when he took on Ali.

Before his fight with the legendary boxer, London had more experience in the professional boxing ring than Ali and had just defeated Joe Erskine to win the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title only six years prior.

Over the course of their fight, Muhammad Ali had the upper hand the entire time and London had only hit him once in three rounds.

To finish the fight, Ali released 12 furious punches within 2.8 seconds.

The 10th of the 12 punches was enough to knock the wits out of Brian London and he was completely down by the 12th.

London has since discussed his regrets about his performance during this fight against Ali, but not even he was willing to admit that he could have won that fight against “The Greatest.”

When London was asked if he would ever have a rematch with Muhammad Ali, he said that he only agree to the fight if there were 56 pounds tied to each one of Ali’s legs.

Despite losing to the legendary boxer, London feels honored to have fought Ali.

Brian London saw Muhammad Ali as one of his two favorite boxers of all time.

The only boxer London liked more was Rocky Marciano, who was popular during the late 1940s and 1950s.

 

Were Muhammad Ali And Mike Tyson Friends?

Former boxer Mike Tyson
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

 

Yes, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson were lifelong friends, and Tyson remains close to Ali’s family to this day.

The legendary boxers were so close that Tyson served as one of Ali’s pallbearers at his funeral.

Following Muhammad Ali’s death, Tyson invited the boxer’s grandson Nico Ali Walsh to visit him so he could introduce Nico to his beloved pigeons and take him on a tour of his $100,000 pigeon mansion.

Tyson’s pigeons have offered him constant comfort and unconditional love.

With Nico Ali Walsh having recently lost his grandfather at the time, Tyson’s sharing the joy of his pigeons with the young boxer may have been his way of offering support through grief.

Mike Tyson has looked to Muhammad Ali for inspiration through his entire career after first meeting him while attending reform school.

Ali had come to Tyson’s school to speak with the young students about living respectfully.

The school had the students watch The Greatest and then the legendary boxer walked into the room, much to the excitement of Tyson and the other students.

As Tyson grew older, Ali taught him how to be more competitive and made him want to never give up a fight no matter how poorly it was going.

Muhammad Ali was the one who inspired Tyson to refuse to lose and not let go of an opponent in fear of getting hit.

After Ali and Tyson got to know each other as professional boxers, Tyson vowed to avenge Ali’s defeat against Larry Holmes.

Tyson kept his promise.

During an interview with GQ’s Clay Skipper about the 2016 documentary on Ali’s life, Mike Tyson broke down crying and had to stop the interview because he was too emotional to continue.

 

Did Muhammad Ali Know Malcolm X?

Portrait of human rights activist Malcolm X
(Photo by Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

Yes, Muhammad Ali had a deep connection with Malcolm X and changed his name after getting to know him.

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay, which was his name when he won his first two Golden Glove titles and his Olympic gold medal.

During his childhood, Muhammad Ali was surrounded by racism as he grew up in the segregated South.

For the first 20 years of his life, he tried his best to be someone who never rocked the boat and to be as likable to as many people as possible.

This all changed in 1962 after Ali met Malcolm X after traveling to Detroit with recruiter Sam Saxon, who introduced the pair at a Detroit diner.

Malcolm X was the minister of Mosque No. 7 in New York City.

At the time, Malcolm X had no idea who Cassius Clay was, but he still felt that the young boxer had a “contagious quality” to him.

After hearing Malcolm X talk, Muhammad Ali was amazed by his fearlessness and the fact that he spoke so freely without being shot at.

According to Malcolm X’s wife and daughter, he loved Ali like a brother and was very concerned with personal growth.

A week after Ali’s win against Sonny Liston, he announced that he was dropping his “slave name” and would be going by Cassius X instead.

On March 6th of that year, Cassius X announced that he would be taking on the name Muhammad Ali after a leader in the Nation of Islam bestowed the name on the heavyweight champion.

This move effectively ended the pair’s friendship after a couple of low-key meet-ups in the following weeks.

That spring, the pair ran into each other by chance while visiting Africa, with Ali giving his former teacher a cold greeting and leaving.

 

How Many Times Was Muhammad Ali Married?

Heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), with his wife
(Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

Muhammad Ali was married four times and had nine children up until he died in 2016.

The first woman he married was Sonji Roi in 1964 when Roi worked as a cocktail waitress.

They had only known each other for a month before deciding to get married, but their marriage lasted two years.

Three years later, Ali married Belinda Boyd and helped convert her to Islam.

His second wife changed her name to Khalilah Ali, and the pair had four children together, which included Muhammad Ali Jr., Maryum Ali, and the twins Jamillah and Rasheda Ali.

At the time of their marriage, Khalilah Ali was only 17 years old.

After her ex-husband passed away, Khalilah was able to reflect on their time together fondly, and she discussed how much she loved traveling the world with him.

Their marriage ended due to an affair that Ali had with Veronica Porsche in 1975.

Only a year later, Porsche and Ali had their daughter Hana.

In 1977, the couple got married and had their second daughter Laila.

Ali and Porsche first met after she had served as a poster girl for his fight against George Foreman, known as the “Rumble in the Jungle.”

Their marriage ended in 1986, but the legendary boxer’s love life wasn’t over.

That same year, he married Yolanda Williams.

Williams and Ali had known each other for decades up to that point after growing up in the same neighborhood.

When they first met, Yolanda Williams was only six years old and he was 21 years old.

Williams first began to love Ali when she was only 17 years old, and she believed that she would marry him one day.

The couple decided to adopt a son named Assad Amin and remained married until Ali died in 2016.

 

Did Muhammad Ali Get Drafted?

Muhammad Ali
(Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

No, Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War because it went against his religious beliefs.

By refusing to be inducted into the United States Army in 1967, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight championship title.

Ali stated that he didn’t have a single problem with the United States’ war enemy and felt that he had no right to be fighting or even killing them.

On June 20th of 1967, the boxer was convicted of draft evasion.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, fined $10,000, and barred from boxing for the next three years.

Ali was able to avoid prison after his case was appealed, and he was able to return to the ring on October 26th of 1970.

The first match he fought following his ban was against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, where he knocked Quarry out in the third round.

On June 28th of 1971, the United States Supreme Court overturned his conviction for evading the draft.

The overturning of Muhammad Ali’s conviction followed his “Fight of the Century” against Joe Frazier, where “The Greatest” received the first loss in the history of his career.

Although he may have lost his fight, he also got to lose his criminal history.


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