Celebrating Muhammad Ali, "The Greatest"

Takes up boxing, wins his first bout - Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, he began training as a amateur boxer in 1954, aged 12.

Gold at the Rome Olympics -
In 1960, he won boxing gold at the Olympic Games in Rome, beating Poland's Zbigniew Pietrzykowski.

Out in five -
In this image, the boxer predicts knocking out Britain's Henry Cooper in five rounds after arriving in London in May 1963. 

Winning the world heavyweight title - In 1964, he "shook up the world" by dethroning Sonny Liston to take the title.

Liston rematch -
Sonny Liston attempted to regain his crown on May 25, 1965, but was floored by Ali in the first round of their rematch. 

Vietnam War and resistance to the draft - In 1966, when Muhammad Ali realized that he was eligible for the draft, he was asked by reporters where he stood on the Vietnam War. 

Stripped of license -
On April 28, 1967, Ali refused his induction into the US Army. Later the same day, the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing license.

"Fight of the Century" -
After four years in the boxing wilderness, Ali's license to fight was reinstated.

"Rumble in the Jungle" -
Joe Frazier was later defeated by George Foreman, opening up the way for the legendary "Rumble in the Jungle" between Foreman and Ali.

The "Ali Shuffle" - He's seen here during an engagement with graduating seniors at Harvard Business School in 1975 and demonstrating the famous "Ali Shuffle." 

East meets West -
Less publicized is Muhammad Ali's extraordinary 1976 wrestling-boxing bout with Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki.

'The Greatest' (1977) -
Ali portrayed himself in this biographical sports drama based on the book 'The Greatest: My Own Story.'

Three-time heavyweight champion - Now 36 years old, many expected Ali to retire. But he climbed back in the ring in February 1978 for a clash with Leon Spinks, which he promptly lost.

Lighting the Olympic flame -
Muhammad Ali retired from boxing in 1981. 

World Sports Awards of the Century - As his career was being reappraised, Ali was honored with several awards and citations.

Sports Personality of the Century - In 1999, a one-off award voted for by the British public selected a Sports Personality of the Century. The honor went to Ali.

'Ali' (2001) -
The biographical sports drama film 'Ali' was released in 2001.

Medal of Freedom -
The former boxer was back in Washington, D.C. in 2005 to receive the Medal of Freedom from US President George W. Bush.

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