You Are Here > > > Cassius Clay

Cassius Clay

Full name: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
Other name(s): Muhammad Ali
Nickname(s): The Greatest
Gender: Male
Height: 6-1.5 (187 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)
Born: January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: June 3, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Affiliations: Kentucky AAU, Louisville (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Boxing

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)


He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, the son of Odessa and Marcellus Clay but he would not keep the name. He preferred instead a name which dignified the black man, and he wore it well as the most famous athlete of his time. His story began as a reed-thin middleweight when he won the 1959 Golden Gloves championship. He repeated that victory in 1960, adding to it the AAU title and the Olympic light-heavyweight crown. Thus was born the saga of "The Greatest." Clay turned pro right after the Rome Olympics and fought his first fight against Tunney Hunsaker. He won easily and continued to win as he worked his way up the heavyweight ranks. He punctuated his pugilistic abilities by composing doggerel verse to predict the outcome of his fights – "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, his hands can't hit, what his eyes can't see."

Clay was the fastest heavyweight anybody had ever seen but few gave him a chance against "the Big Bear," Sonny Liston, when they met for the heavyweight title on 25 February 1964. But Clay disarmed the menacing Liston, winning by a TKO in seven, and afterwards told the world he had embraced the Black Muslim faith and taken the name Muhammad Ali. The Muhammad Ali of the late 60s was an awesome fighting machine. With great speed, deceptive power, and an unequaled ability to take a punch, he was never beaten, never even seriously challenged. But the courts took away the title that other boxers could not. He refused induction into the U.S. Army claiming a conscientious objection because of his faith, so he was stripped of his titles and a conviction was sought.

The attempted conviction was overturned. Ali was vindicated and allowed to fight again but he had lost three years of his prime. He made a comeback, losing to then undefeated champion and former Olympian, [Joe Frazier], in a 15-round decision. However, Ali would later win back the heavyweight title by defeating [George Foreman], another Olympic champion. He would eventually lose the title again, and regain it again, against 1976 Olympian [Leon Spinks]. But he was never the same fighter after his three-year exile. He fought twice more against Frazier, winning both fights in epic struggles, including the Thrilla in Manila, often considered the greatest heavyweight bout of all-time.

In the late 70s, Ali attempted to regain the title again, but he was overweight and out of shape. A mere caricature of the once great fighter, he was punished by heavyweight champion Larry Holmes. Ali finally was convinced to retire but not before he had made his mark on the world of sport – as The Greatest. Ali’s career professional record was 56 wins, 37 by knockout, and 5 losses. Later in life, he developed post-traumatic Parkinsonism, causing him to walk and speak very slowly. In 1996 at Atlanta, he was honored, and honored us all, by lighting the Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1960 Summer 18 Roma Boxing Men's Light-Heavyweight United States USA 1 Gold

Men's Light-Heavyweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result MR JF J1S J2S J3S J4S J5S TJP R T
1960 Summer 18 Roma Boxing United States USA Final Round Match 1/2 1 1960-09-05 Clay (USA) , Pietrzykowski (POL) decision 5 59 59 60 59 60 297
1960 Summer 18 Roma Boxing United States USA Semi-Finals Match #1 1 1960-09-03 Clay (USA) , Madigan (AUS) decision 5 60 60 59 60 60 299
1960 Summer 18 Roma Boxing United States USA Quarter-Finals Match #1 1 1960-09-01 Clay (USA) , Shatkov (URS) decision 5 60 59 60 60 60 299
1960 Summer 18 Roma Boxing United States USA Round Two Match #2 1 1960-08-30 Clay (USA) , Becaus (BEL) referee stops contest 2 2:55
1960 Summer 18 Roma Boxing United States USA Round One Match #3 1 1960-08-26 Clay (USA) bye
id: 8,643