How Muhammad Ali transcended his sport

Published 0826 GMT (1626 HKT) March 8, 2021
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September 5, 1960 -- As an 18-year old from Kentucky, Cassius Clay won a gold medal boxing in the light heavyweight division at the Rome Olympics. Marvin E. Newman/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
February 18, 1964 -- Before they all reached worldwide fame, and a week before his shot at the world heavyweight title, Clay met The Beatles at Miami Beach's 5th Street Gym. Mark and Colleen Hayward/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
February 25, 1964 -- Entering the fight as a 7-1 underdog against Sonny Liston, Clay won the world heavyweight title declaring: "I am the greatest! I shook up the world. I'm the prettiest thing that ever lived." Bettmann/Getty Images
March 6, 1964 -- In the wake of winning the world title, Clay announced his affiliation with The Nation of Islam, and after briefly becoming Cassius X, he changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Paul Cannon/AP
May 25, 1965 -- In the much-anticipated rematch, Ali knocked out Liston with a chopping right hand in the first round. Bettmann/Getty Images
November 14, 1966 -- During a knockout win over Cleveland Williams, often regarded as his best performance, Ali reveals the "Ali shuffle" -- labeling it the best dance move since "The Twist." Bettmann/Getty Images
April 28, 1967 -- Following his refusal to accept induction into the U.S. Armed Forces in Houston, Ali was arrested, while later that day boxing commissions began to suspend his licenses, banning him from the sport. Bettmann/Getty Images
March 8, 1971 -- Film star Frank Sinatra photographed "The Fight of the Century" between Ali and Frazier for Life Magazine. AP
October 30, 1974 -- :The Rumble in the Jungle": Having lost to Joe Frazier and Ken Norton since his return to boxing, Ali was a huge underdog when he knocked out champion George Foreman in the eighth round in Kinsasha, Zaire, winning back the heavyweight title after seven and a half years. AFP/Getty Images
October 1, 1975 -- "The Thrilla in Manilla:" After winning his final trilogy fight with Frazier due to his opponent's corner retiring him after the 14th round, Ali said it was the closest thing to dying that he had ever known. Bettmann/Getty Images
July 19, 1996 -- After developing Parkinson's disease and withdrawing from the public eye, Ali lit the Olympic cauldron, appearing as the secret final torchbearer for the Games in Atlanta. Reuters/Alamy