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Why did Muhammad Ali change his name?

Why did Muhammad Ali change his name?
Muhammad Ali was previously known as Cassius Clay

Muhammad Ali is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers to have ever lived. However, this wasn't the name he was born with.

Ali's birth name was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., but he changed his name after converting to Islam. On March 6, 1964, at the age of 22, the former heavyweight champion formally changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The name was given to him by his spiritual mentor, Elijah Muhammad.

Ali later denounced his birth name as a slave name.

Muhammad Ali considered his initial name a slave name because his grandfather had worked as a slave. The former heavyweight champion was always outspoken about civil rights and the issue of race in America.

Take a look at Ali addressing the sensitive issue of race:

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How may fights did Muhammad Ali win?

Ali had a career that lasted over two decades. During that time, he fought in a total of 61 fights and won 56 of them, with 37 of those victories coming by way of knockout.

Ali started training for boxing at the age of 12. Interestingly, it took him just six years of training before he went on to win a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games. Moreover, the teenager turned professional the same year as well.

Check out Muhammad Ali's best knockouts:

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The most notable victories of Ali's career came against the likes of Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sonny Liston, and Ken Norton. His trilogy against Joe Frazier is amongst the most legendary rivalries in the history of boxing.

Apart from his heroics inside the boxing ring, Ali stood as a symbol of defiance and hope during America's invasion of Vietnam in the 1960s. He was a "conscientious objector" who refused to fight in the war.

Ali had an impact far beyond his sport. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named Ali the Sportsman of the Century and the BBC honored him as the Sports Personality of the Century.

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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