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Muhammad Ali is one of the best if not the best boxers of all time He was an influential leader not only inside the ring but throughout the world His overwhelming confidence captured millions bringing the sport of boxing the publicity it has always deserved Though many criticized his brash comments he became a role model of children across the nation He frequently gave speeches in schools and ghettos throughout America He managed to succeed in a world that was run by whites Born January 17 1942 in Louisville Kentucky Cassius Clay Jr displayed fighting skills early in his life when he punched his mother after she spanked him for misbehavior It was not until he turned 12 however that he became interested in boxing He had just received a new red bicycle for his birthday so he and a friend rode bikes to the fair While he was milling around someone stole his bike He searched for his bike for hours but it was to no avail When he started asking people on his block if they had seen it someone suggested he go ask Joe Martin a policeman and owner of a boxing gym Cassius was awestruck the moment he walked into the gym Joe gave him an application and Cassius joined the gym the following day Though he had not found his bike he did find his futureCassius trained constantly He worked out after school every day and he trained with Fred Stoner after supper from eight until midnight Finally his hard work was starting to pay off In 1956 he won the Kentucky Golden Gloves tournament Then in 1958 he won the Louisville Golden Gloves light-heavyweight crown He went on to win the National Golden Gloves light-heavyweight title in Chicago Cassius really showed his skills in 1960 by winning the Golden Gloves title in Madison Square Garden as well as the Tournament of Champions in Chicago Throughout his amateur career Cassius
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