Today in Sports History: February 14

In 1973, American professional and heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali beat British heavyweight boxing champion Joe Bugner through a unanimous points decision in 12 rounds at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. 

As one of the greatest athletes, Ali was an Olympic gold medalist in 1960 and the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1964. Ali had a record of 56 wins, five losses, and 37 knockouts before he retired from boxing in 1981, at the age of 39.

In his retirement, Ali was very active in philanthropy. Ali supported the Special Olympics and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among other smaller organizations. In 1996, he lit the Olympic cauldron at the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, which was a very special moment in sports history. 

In 2005, Ali received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, and soon after Obama’s inauguration in 2009, Ali received the President’s Award from the NAACP for his public service efforts.

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