About Muhammad Ali
Wouldn't it be pretty cool if your nickname was “The Greatest”? That's what people call Muhammad Ali. His big fights are considered the greatest in sports history. Ali loved getting attention and his public appearances are as famous as his boxing matches. He was loud, proud, and not afraid to make people mad.
Young Cassius Clay
In January of 1942, Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. (he changed his name as an adult) was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He didn't start boxing till he was 12 when a police officer found an extremely angry Cassius on the street fuming about a bicycle thief. Lucky for Cassius, and for boxing fans everywhere, the officer was also a boxing coach. When Cassius said he was going to “whup” the thief, the officer told him he'd better learn to box first.
It turned out that Cassius Clay Jr. was born to box. As an amateur (someone who doesn't get paid to play a sport), he won 100 fights and only lost 5. He even won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics, in 1960.
Years later, Ali claimed he threw his gold medal into the Ohio River after being refused service in a “whites-only” establishment. Cassius dealt with lots of discrimination and it made him mad, and it's not a good thing to make Muhammad Ali mad.