57 Interesting Facts About Muhammad Ali

Last updated on February 10th, 2022

45. Although he was a passionate boxer, Ali never wanted his daughters to follow the sport. However, things did not turn out the way he wanted. His daughter, Laila, has fought 24 contests (between 1999 and 2007) and has not lost a single one of them.

46. Are you aware that Muhammad Ali also knocked out Superman? The details of this appeared in a 1978 version of DC comic book that was aptly titled “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali.” Aliens have raided planet earth and they do not consider Superman as an earthling, Muhammad Ali defeats Superman and then defeats the aliens.

47. Muhammad Ali took pride in the fact that he never smoked cigarettes or drink alcohol. So what did he do after his victories in the boxing arena? He would celebrate his victories with family and friends over orange juice at home. Ali once said, “I don’t smoke but I keep a match box in my pocket, when my heart slips towards sin, I burn the matchstick and heat my palm with it, then say to myself, “Ali you can’t even bear this heat, how would you bear the unbearable heat of hellfire?”

48. After his 1976 MMA-style bout against Antonio Inoki, Ali almost had to have his legs amputated. This bout took place in 1975 following his fight against Frazier, after Ali challenged Japanese pro wrestler.

49. As soon as Sonny Liston agreed to fight Ali for the first time, the latter drove a bus with the words “Liston Must Go in Eight.” He reached Liston’s home with the bus at around 3 a.m.

50. After Ali won the boxing’s Golden Gloves in the year 1959, he had a feeling that he had the capability to become a world champion. It might be sheer coincidence, but there is no denying the fact that he did become a world champion.

51. The bully always feels insecure and Ali was no different (he was not a bully, though). Irrespective of all the intimidation tactics and bragging, Ali revealed that he was scared to death in the lead up to his first fight against Sonny Liston.

52. In some sense, Muhammad Ali was extremely unfortunate as a sportsperson. The age 25 to 29 are the peak of any athlete’s career. During this time, Ali was unable to pursue his boxing career because it was precisely at that juncture that he was inactive due to his ongoing court case.

53. Here is a fact that only a handful of die hard Ali fans know. He starred in a Broadway musical that ran for one week while he was banned from the boxing world due to his ongoing court case.

54. Columbia Records released Ali’s album. “I Am the Greatest” even before Muhammad was even a contender for Sonny Liston. Now that is quite cocky. For the uninitiated, this is a comedy album, which was released in August 1963.

Muhammad Ali Gravestone
Image credit – 

55. Thanks to a loophole, Ali returned to boxing in 1970. Georgia State had no organized boxing commission, permitting Atlanta City to grant Ali a boxing license. Ali knocked out Jerry Quarry in three rounds.

56. Ali first won the world championship in 1964 and again in 1978. Angelo Dundee, his trainer, described how Cassius Clay the boxer was vastly different than Muhammad Ali. “It was almost impossible to hit Clay,” he said.

Muhammad Ali Sports Illustrated Cover - 40th time. facts about Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali graces the cover of Sports Illustrated for the 40th time in this portrait shot by Neil Leifer while Ali trained at 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach on Oct. 9, 1970. This will be the June 13 issue cover on stands June 8, 2016. Image credit – abcnews.go.com

57. No other athlete in the world has more “Sports Illustrated” covers than Muhammad Ali, apart from Michael Jordan. If there was a Mount Rushmore of sports, these two legends would be the first faces carved in it. Michael Jordan was the most popular cover athlete, adorning the front of Sports Illustrated 50 times, followed by 40 appearances from Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali – Inspirational Quotes 

1. “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.”

2. “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.”

3. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

Muhammad Ali Quotes
Image credit – Joshi Bhavya

4.Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

5. “I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”

6. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

7. “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

8. “A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Muhammad Ali on a magazine cover
Muhammad Ali on a magazine cover. Image credit – Stephen Luff

9. “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

10. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

11.Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn’t matter which color does the hating. It’s just plain wrong.”

12. “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

13. “A man who has no imagination has no wings.”

14. “Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.”

15. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

16. “My principles are more important than the money or my title.”

17. “The name Muhammad is the most common name in the world. In all the countries around the world – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon – there are more Muhammads than anything else. When I joined the Nation of Islam and became a Muslim, they gave me the most famous name because I was the champ.”

18. “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”

19. “I am an ordinary man who worked hard to develop the talent I was given. I believed in myself, and I believe in the goodness of others.”

20. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

21. “It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

22. “What keeps me going is goals.”

23. “Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

24. “I am the astronaut of boxing. Joe Louis and Dempsey were just jet pilots. I’m in a world of my own.”

25.Don’t count the days; make the days count.”

Muhammad Ali – Quick statistics and facts

BornJanuary 17, 1942
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
NicknamesThe Greatest
The People's Champion
The Louisville Lip
DiedJune 3, 2016 (aged 74)
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S. as Muhammad Ali
Resting placeCave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky
Field of WorkBoxing (1960-1981)
TrainerAngelo Dundee
ManagerHerbert Muhammad
Height1.91 m
Reach198 cm
Total fights61
Wins: 56
Wins by KO: 37
Losses: 5
AwardsNational Golden Gloves Light Heavyweight Champion (1959, 1960);
National Amateur Athletic Union champion (1959, 1960);
Gold medal, Rome Olympics, light-heavyweight boxing (1960);
Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Award (1970) and many more.
EducationCentral High School (1958)
ParentsFather: Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr.
Mother: Odessa Grady Clay
SiblingBrother: Rahman Ali
SpousesSonji Roi ​(m. 1964; div. 1966)​
Belinda Boyd ​(m. 1967; div. 1977)​
Veronica Porché Ali ​(m. 1977; div. 1986)​
Yolanda Williams ​(m. 1986)
ChildrenTotal: Nine (9)
Daughters: Laila Ali, Maryum Ali, Rasheda Ali, Jamillah Ali, Hana Ali, Miya Ali, and Khaliah Ali.
Sons: Asaad Amin, Muhammad Ali Jr.
In films1. King of the World
2. Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
3. One night in Miami
4. The Trials of Muhammad Ali
5. When We Were Kings
6. When Ali Came to Ireland
7. What's My Name: Muhammad Ali
Net Worth80 Million USD (at the time of his death)