Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016)
Muhammad Ali was regarded the greatest by many, most notably himself. If ever there was a sportsman or personality who held unwavering belief in himself then he was that man. Voted the greatest sports person of the 20th century if not all time.
He began training as an amateur at the tender age of 12 and would later win a gold medal at the age of 18 at the 1960 Olympics in the light heavyweight division and later that year turned professional.
For his own reasons he became a Muslim after converting to Islam and changed his birth name of Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali and went on to take the boxing world by storm.
In a time when civil rights for black people was not yet achieved, he became a huge figurehead and was an inspiration to the black community. Never shy to express his opinion on any topic he would later pay with his freedom and the boxing titles earned when he was jailed for refusing to adhere to the draft for the Vietnam War, citing his religious beliefs.
He was involved in many historic fights including ‘The Thrilla in Manila’ versus Joe Frazier and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ against George Foreman which created unheard of worldwide TV audiences of over one billion people.
His athleticism, prowess, speed and boxing skills were unmatched inside the ring but he also remembered greatly for his endearing personality, quick wit and his own philosophy on life. He was as they say.. an entertainer