Today in Sports History: December 11

Muhammad Ali (born Caccius Clay) steps into the ring one final time to face off with Trevor Berbick in 1981. Ali, nicknamed “The Greatest,” began his professional boxing career in the light heavyweight division of the 1960 Summer Olympics. He captured the world heavyweight boxing championship in 1964. In addition to his legendary boxing career and fast footwork, Ali also was known for being a contentious objector to the Vietnam War. His refusal to the Vietnam War draft put a four-year hold on his boxing career until the Supreme Court overturned the daft evasion conviction in 1971. Despite this setback, Ali is the only three-time heavyweight boxing champion to date and has only five losses during his 35-year career, he bested 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and won 14 unified title bouts. Ali faced off with Joe Frazier in the “Fight of the Century” (1971) and the “Thrilla in Manila” (1974) which were tow of the most-watched boxing matches to date. Another of Ali’s memorable fights was the “Rumble in the Jungle” where he won the title of heavyweight champion from undefeated George Foreman. After retiring, Ali focused on philanthropy and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

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