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Success is earned, not gifted.
Muhammad Ali, born in Louisville in 1942, Also known as ‘The Greatest’. He was a professional boxer and one of the greatest boxers of all time.
This title was not given to him on his birth, Ali earned it through his hard-work and dedication.
Originally named Cassius Clay, He converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Citing his religious beliefs, he refused to serve in the Vietnam war which costed him a heavy cost of 10 thousand dollars, 5 years in prison and prohibition from boxing for 3 years.
His conversion defined his career and legacy as a fighter with a strong belief.
Eventually it made him an icon for American Muslims.
Muhammad Ali’s journey began when he was just 12 years old. He initially started boxing because his bicycle had been stolen. After an encounter with a Louisville Police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin.
After being told that Ali would fight the kid who stole his bike, coach Joe Martin asked him if he knew how to fight, to which Ali responded “No, but I’d fight anyway.” Martin encouraged Ali to get some training and learn boxing.
Uninterested at first, but Ali eventually started his amateur career soon after the event.
Martin trained Ali and remained with him throughout Ali’s 6-year amateur career, Ali won his first amateur fight in the same year.
6 years after the bike incident, Ali had achieved participation in 108 amateur fights (from which he had 100 victories), he had also won two Kentucky Golden Glove titles, and two Amateur Athletic Union titles.
Ali had many trainers during his time as an amateur and at the age of 18 he defeated a Polish boxer at the 1960 Olympics in Rome to win gold, which pushed him towards starting his career as a professional.
As his professional career began, he won his first 19 fights, which included 15 knockouts.
Ali’s hardest fight in that time was probably his fight against the number three heavyweight in the world, Doug Jones.
It was a very difficult fight but a unanimous decision was awarded to Ali. This fight was also known as the “fight of the year”.
After this, Muhammad Ali won a fight against Sonny Liston, making him the new heavyweight champion and the youngest boxer (aged 22) to defeat a world champion.
However, things didn’t always go as Ali wanted them to. As mentioned earlier, due to hisreligious beliefs and non-participation in the Vietnam war, Ali was arrested and his boxing license was suspended. His popularity took a nose-dive and people saw him as a draft dodger as he remained free while the conviction was appealed, this also stripped him of his heavyweight title.
He was no longer the heavy weight champion, in-fact, he was not even a professional boxer anymore. Ali had to go on speaking engagements at various colleges to make enough money to put food on the table and pay his bills.
Many years of his prime time were wasted because of this and no-one knows what he could have achieved in these years.
Despite these hurdles, Muhammad Ali did not give up on his boxing career and returned for good around October 1970.
Ali got a chance to win his crown back against champ Joe Frazier in 1971. It was named the ‘Fight of the Century.’
Unfortunately, Ali lost the fight and could not win his title back. This was his first professional loss after 31 wins. Although, they had a rematch after 4 years, which resulted in Ali’s win.
Muhammad Ali had many losses and wins after this and even became the heavy weight champion again, making him the first boxer to win the heavyweight championship three times. Following one final loss in 1981, Muhammad Ali retired from the sport at age 39
The main purpose of highlighting each achievement and struggle in Muhammad Ali’s life is to tell the reader about the hardships of life. Ali did not become a great boxer overnight.
Throughout his career, Muhammad Ali –garnered a reputation for his positive and motivational outlook on life.
While he never went into business himself, quite a business empire was built around his athletic acumen and feats, and he inspired millions of people around the world.
“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” Ali believed in himself, just as an individual should to make their way up-to the top in life. Life is not easy, Muhammad Ali had to face a lot of losses and even a ban from his career but he did not think about quitting even once.
Despite the losses again and again, despite the years of his peak time as a boxer being wasted; Muhammad Ali still managed to win the heavyweight championship three times!
“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”-Ali used to say. By this saying, Ali meant one should make the most of every moment, rather than waiting for the moments to come.
“Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Muhammad Ali believed everything is possible if enough hard work is put into it.
Nothing was impossible for him and he proved this statement. Nothing stopped him from returning to the ring after he had lost his heavyweight champion title. Nothing stopped him from winning it all over again, and again!
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Ali’s words could not be clearer.
“Suffer now” means do all the hard-work you can to chase your dreams. To live the rest of your life as a champion is something that is not that easy to achieve.
You have to suffer and make your way up to it and remind yourself every-day that quitting is not an option.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” The little things on the journey to success are as important as the bigger picture.
Often these little details hold you back from climbing the stairs of success. Muhammad Ali focused on both and the results are in-front of us.
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it -then I can achieve it.” This was the mentality of “The greatest”.
Keeping a positive attitude is really important and believing in yourself and being confident is the #1 step to achieving success in life.
These quotes are just a few of the tips to success. There are really no words to describe the inspiration that Muhammad Ali has created, one can learn more from his actions, rather than his words.
Sometimes, it does not take a stolen bicycle to start your journey. Sometimes it can be an inspiring story of a child who learnt to box just for the sake of taking revenge from a kid who stole his bike, such as the story you have read above.
In conclusion, go on, look for what is waiting for you. Don’t wait for it, not all cases are the one similar to Muhamad Ali’s.
Success will not come knocking at your door. There will not be a coach Joe Martin for everyone, so we have to discover our passion our-selves and work our way at the top of the field.
To win in life, one must be as dedicated as a man like Muhammad Ali. To think of quitting, is the thought of a sore loser.
It won’t take you anywhere in life as failure is part of the journey to success.
There will be downs in life but success is only granted to those who come back stronger and even more dedicated.