Cassius Clay better known as Muhammad Ali is by far the greatest boxer of all time. “King of the World” by David Reminick is a very detailed biography of Muhammad and good documentation how boxing used to be. The book takes you on a journey behind the scenes of Alli’s rise to the top and boxing run in with La Costra Nostra. On an October afternoon in 1954 when Cassius was 12 he left his 60 dollar red Schwinn outside the Columbia Auditorium to visit a bazaar. When he and his friends left he realizes that his new bike was stolen.
Cassius was in a tearing rage and someone said that there was a police officer in the basement of a boxing gym. He went in demanding a statewide bike hunt and threatening to beat the hell out of whoever had stolen it. The officer Joe Martin asked Cassius if he could fight, and Cassius said no, so Martin invited him to come to the gym and learn how to box, so he could get pay back on the bicycle thief. This is the story of how Cassius first got interested and determined to become a great boxer. He also showed determinations when he brought home and Olympic gold medal.
He trained very hard for our country and did a really good job. Even back then he ran his trashed talked his opponents, like in his first match he fought he one by a spit decision, after he found out he had one he shouted he would soon be “the greatest of all time”. Know one knew at the time that his boasts would soon be the truth. Cassius mouth has gotten him a lot of key matches in his career. He gained his first title shot form Sonny Liston this way.
One of his famous quotes was “I’m so mean I make medicine sick.” He ran his mouth so often that people thought he ran his mouth just to psyche him self-out for the matches. That is said to be how he one all of his matches. Before the Liston fight he charted a bus around with signs that read “We all love Cassius Clay”, “Without Cassius the game is dead! “March on Liston’s camp.” “BEAR HUNTIN’.” Cassius first heavy weight title shot was against Sonny Liston a very big man who would give Mike Tyson a good run for his money. There was a lot of hype surrounding their first fight. Cassius ran his mouth so much that everyone thought that Liston was going to kill Clay.
Liston actually threatened to kill Clay. The day of the fight the tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. In the ring before they touched gloves and Cassius told Liston “I’ve got you now, sucker!” Cassius knew that he could not match Liston’s power, so he danced. Liston could land a punch on Clay all night. By the sixth round Liston knew he was going down that night with the quickness.
It has been said but not proven that Sonny instructed his assistant to juice his gloves. This is were you rub ferric chloride on a pair of boxing gloves, which is a stinging solution that tends to blind. During the fourth round Cassius’s eyes began to sting. He lost his vision and the sixth round. By the seventh he gained it back and came back with the knock out. He screamed “Eat your words!” Cassius was now world heavy weight champion.
A rematch happened between Clay and Liston on May 25, 1965. Very early in the match Cassius knocked out Liston with the infamous “phantom punch”. This punch was thrown so quickly that it almost escaped even the eye of the camera. Before the referee counted to ten Cassius was over Liston shouting “Get up and fight, you bum! You’re supposed to be so bad! Nobody will believe this!” Liston was out cold. The crowd shouted “FAKE!” It has never been proven that Liston actually threw the fight. Muhammad was baptized Catholic, but got very interested with The Nation of Islam.
In the beginning of his career he had to hide his interests in “The Nation”, because he felt that the public was not ready for his conversion. In an interview he was once asked if he was a Muslim, and he replied “I am not Muslim, but they are the cleanest people I have ever met.” When Cassius Clay converted to Muslim he changed his name to Muhammad Alli. He became very close with Elijah Muhammad and Malcom X. Malcom went to all of Alli’s matches, disused The Nation of Islam, and ate breakfast together frequently. When Malcom X was assassinated it hit Alli very hard.
He was depressed and got more scared about it getting killed him self. Muhammad Alli was an amazing athlete who did what he told everyone back when his bicycle was stolen. He is the greatest of all time. He is a very nice man who does many nice things for charities and The Nation of Islam worldwide. He had gotten a lot of brain damage from boxing so much that now in his old age he cannot speak and function quite right.
But this does not affect “the butterfly” in his daily life. Muhammad Alli made a great contribution to boxing and the dancing style, and he will never be forgotten for his amazing technique. This book is a very entertaining and true to life book Muhammad Alli. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in boxing and Muhammad Alli.