Reading Exercises: Muhammad Ali


Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942 . Considered one of the greatest athletes in boxing history, Ali showed at an early age that he wasn’t afraid of any bout—inside or outside of the ring. Ali started working with Joe Martin to learn how to box, and soon began his boxing career. In his first amateur bout in 1954, he won the fight by split decision.

In 1960, Ali won a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team and won the gold medal. He was known for his footwork, and for possessing a powerful jab. During the 1960s. Ali seemed unstoppable, winning all of his bouts with majority of them being by knockouts. He was known for boasting about his skills before a fight and for his colorful descriptions and phrases to the media.

He joined the black Muslim group in 1964 and changed his name to  Muhammad Ali. Two years later, He was found guilty of refusing to be inducted into the military so boxing association took away his title and suspended him from the sport for three and a half years.

Returning to the ring in 1970,  He knocked out Jerry Quarry , foreman  and Joe Frazier . By the late 1970s, Ali’s career had started to decline. He was defeated by Leon Spinks in 1978 and was knocked out by Larry Holmes in 1980. In 1981, Ali fought his last bout losing his heavyweight title.

In his retirement, Ali has devoted much of his time to philanthropy. He announced that he has Parkinson’s disease in 1984 and has been involved in raising funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix, Arizona.Ali has been married to his fourth wife, Yolanda, since 1986. The couple has one son but Ali has several children from previous relationships.

In early 2015, Ali was hospitalized for a severe urinary tract infection after having battled pneumonia. He was hospitalized again in early June 2016 for what was reportedly a respiratory issue. The revered athlete passed away on the evening of June 3, 2016, at a Phoenix, Arizona facility.



  1. When was Muhammad Ali Born?
  2. When did Muhammad Ali had his first amateur fight?
  3. What did Ali do after he retired?
  4. When did Ali die?

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