Category: ali

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Muhammad Ali photographed by Thomas Hoepker in Chicago, 1966.

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Muhammad Ali photographed by Thomas Hoepker in Chicago, 1966.

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Muhammad Ali with his mentor

Malcolm X at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, 1964.

Malcolm arranged for Ali (then Cassius X) to meet with diplomats from Africa and Asia at the United Nations. Sports writer Murray Robinson noted in the New York Journal American that Malcolm intended to “make the heavyweight champion an international political figure.”

Muhammad Ali poses before his championship bout (against Sonny Liston) in Miami Beach on February 25, 1964. 

Muhammad Ali getting a haircut at a barber shop in Chicago, 1966.

(Photos by Thomas Hoepker)

3/5/1975-New York, NY: Water for the Sahel: Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali with ABC Sports announcer Howard Cosell taping segment for Wide World of Sports before press conference at United Nations Headquarters. Ali to announce that he would donate circuit television earnings to UNICEF and Africare to aid countries affected by the Sahel drought.  

(Photos by Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated)

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Muhammad Ali celebrating with Malcolm X at the Hampton House in Miami after he won the World Heavyweight Championship against Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964.

Photos by Bob Gomel

Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) vs Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight boxing title

at Miami Beach Convention Hall on February 25, 1964.

As the 7-1 underdog, 22-year-old Ali defeated Sonny Liston in six rounds by TKO. The fight was almost cancelled due to Ali’s religious beliefs. While he trained in Miami he had his mentor Malcolm X with him.

When the promoter threatened to cancel the fight if Ali didn’t distance himself from Malcolm and the Nation of Islam, Ali said, “My religion is more important to me than the fight.” The promoter finally relented when Malcolm agreed to leave Miami and return only the night of the fight. Before the fight, Malcolm X told Ali, “This fight is the truth. It’s the Cross and the Crescent fighting in a prize ring–for the first time. It’s a modern Crusades–a Christian and a Muslim facing each other with television to beam it off Telstar for the whole world to see what happens! Do you think Allah has brought about all this intending for you to leave the ring as anything but a champion?" 

Malcolm was sitting ringside in seat number 7 when Ali became the champion.

Muhammad Ali with his family outside of their home during photo shoot on Barbara Drive in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on April 13, 1973.

(L-R) Ali, twin daughters Jamillah and Rasheda, daughter Maryum, and wife Khalilah holding son Ibn Muhammad Ali Jr.

(Photos by Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated)