10 Intriguing Muhammad Ali Insights You Didn't Know

Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali 

Most people know that he changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali after converting to Islam. What's less known is that he was initially given the name Cassius X before he adopted the name Muhammad Ali. 

Stolen Bike 

Ali's journey into boxing began when he was just 12 years old after his bicycle was stolen. He reported the theft to a police officer who also happened to be a boxing trainer, and he suggested Ali learn how to fight before confronting the thief. 

Olympic Gold Medal 

Ali won a gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. What's fascinating is that he claimed that he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River in protest against racism 

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee 

This iconic phrase, often associated with Ali, was actually coined by his cornerman, Drew "Bundini" Brown. 

Longest Heavyweight Championship Reign 

Ali's reign as the world heavyweight champion spanned over three different decades. He first won the title in 1964 and regained it in 1974 and 1978. This record has never been broken. 

Draft Evasion 

Ali famously refused to be drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, citing religious and moral objections. He was stripped of his boxing titles and banned from the sport for several years. 

Fighting Tooth Decay 

In his later years, Ali traveled to countries like Morocco and Indonesia as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness about dental care for children. 

Ballet Lessons 

Ali took ballet lessons to improve his footwork, which contributed to his unique boxing style and agility in the ring. 

Fight Against Parkinson's Disease 

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1984, and he spent the rest of his life raising awareness and funds for Parkinson's research. His philanthropic efforts in this area often go overlooked. 

Ali the Magician 

Ali was a fan of magic tricks and would often perform them for friends and family. He even authored a book on magic tricks titled "The Greatest: My Own Story." 

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