Klay, Cassius Clay, Joe Martin discussed on Historical Figures

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Is to leave a five star review wherever you're listening it really does help before we begin. It's important to note Muhammad. Ali rejected his birth name Cassius ashes clay in one thousand nine hundred sixty four while we fully acknowledge and respect this decision we will be calling him caches Klay in this episode until nineteen sixty four for the purposes of clarity we will refer to him as Muhammad Ali leave from then on now back to the life of the greatest the prettiest the heavyweight champion of the World Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus clay junior in your in nineteen forty two. He was named for his father caches senior who in turn was named after Cassius Marcellus clay a nineteenth century plantation owner who joined the abolitionist movement freed his families slaves and dedicated his life to furthering the cause of emancipation after the civil war though his namesake came from a legacy of liberation and the fight for equality caches Klay Junior saw little of either in his early the life he was born in Louisville Kentucky during the Jim Crow era and face discrimination and hardship on a daily basis still clay learn from his parents to take pride in his name his mother Odessa a domestic helper like to believe that the klay name connected their family to Kentucky royalty. Even though segregation had forced them to live in Louisville's impoverished westside caches klay senior was a musician painter skirtchaser and a generally combative man Cassius Clay Junior it would seem inherited this urge to fight from his father as he grew older he went looking for ways to vent the aggression. In nineteen fifty four a twelve year old Klay was exiting market when he found that his prized possession a beautiful red and white Schwinn bike had been stolen he was furious that bike had cost fifty dollars over four hundred dollars today. Today he resolved then there to find a thief and punish him. No matter what it took according to his autobiography the greatest my own story Klay heard that a policeman named Joe Martin could help him recover however is bike clay set out immediately to the nearby Columbia. Jim Were Martin led a weekly boxing clinic for neighborhood boys in his own words. Klay was entranced a minute he entered the gym the smell of sweat sweat and the rough sounds of sparring excited him for reasons he didn't quite understand he found officer Martin and told him he was going to find the bicycle thief and beat him up Martin no stranger to the misplaced aggression of young boys challenge Klay to get in the ring instead. It's likely Martin recognized Claes boxing potential. He was tall for his age with a long reach. It's also likely that as a community organizer Martin was looking into Channel Claes aggression into a more productive outlet or whatever the reason when Klay left that night Martin tapped him on the shoulder and said we got boxing every night Monday through Friday from six to eight. Here's an application location in case you want to join according to Muhammad Ali researcher and biographer Jonathan I the young champ was fascinated to see quote black kids and white kids in the ring together. He realized what Martin was trying me to teach him. If the person who stole the bike turned out to be white and Klay retaliated he could go to jail or worse in Joe Martin's ring however there were no repercussions for striking a white boxer this this would have been truly mind boggling. The twelve year old clay race didn't matter segregate didn't matter nothing outside of the ring mattered. There was only the fight caches clay. A junior took Martin up on his offer to start training at first he was well not great according to Joe Martin clay quote didn't know Aleph took from kickin ass in quote granted Klay was fighting an older more experienced kid but after one minute of wild flailing Klay was pulled from the ring with a bloody nose despite this first lousy sparring session he continued to box he went back to the clinic day after day and became the hardest worker and Martin's gem six weeks later the twelve year old clay had improved so much that Martin arranged for him to fight on the television show tomorrow's champions which was broadcast all over the state clay was pitted against Ronnie O'Keefe another novice boxer. This was his first publicized fight and he won it by split decision. After the match aired Cassius clay senior reportedly exclaimed my son is going and to be another Joe Louis the world heavyweight champion Cassius clay with the support of his family clay holy dedicated himself to boxing as he worked diligently with his trainer Fred Stone or however his schoolwork works suffered considerably. His teachers didn't know it at the time but Cassius Clay Junior suffered from dyslexia it would be decades before teachers would be trained to recognize students with learning disabilities so unfortunately many of his teachers is simply labeled him as dumb in his own words. Klay New College wasn't an option forum. He likely dedicated himself to boxing so completely because for the first time in his life he'd found something he truly excelled excelled at he barely finished high school ranking in the bottom five percent of his class over the course of his late teens. Though Klay racked up victories by the end of the nineteen fifties eighteen year old caches Klay Junior had one six Kentucky Golden Glove Championships. He'd made a name for himself among the local circuit as a big man who moved impossibly quick. Maybe a little too quick his coach Joe Martin says he tried to teach the young Cassius clay junior had blocked punches and how to duck but he refused to learn these most basic of boxing skills Claes reflexes were so instinctively fast did he simply moved his head. The moment before an opponent could make contact act. This technique wouldn't always work but at the start of his career it distinguished him from nearly every other fighter another natural ability was his lightning-fast Jab fighters nearly always underestimated because has of how light it looked but over time wore every one of them down advancing clay to the international spotlight as at the age of eighteen he was selected to compete in the nineteen sixty Olympic Games in Rome mm Italy. Unfortunately he almost missed his flight as it turns out the man who would come to be known as the greatest boxer of all time was scared of flying he was so afraid of it that he actually considered considered missing the Olympics just to avoid getting on a plane that was Martin who convinced clay to go Martin appeal to his ambition. If you really wanted to win to be a champion he needed to compete in the Olympics. Klay conceded though he took a detour on his way to the airport to buy a parachute from an army surplus store who would get on the plane but he wasn't going to take any chances he arrived in Rome and won his first. I three Olympic bouts easily in his final fight. He struggled slightly against the three time European champion zoo big new pediatric Hausky but was awarded the victory by unanimous verdict at the age of eighteen eighteen Klay Junior had obtained what most athletes only dream of an Olympic gold medal he should have returned to Louisville a hero but instead he was greeted with the same racism and bigotry he had always known after being refused service at a counter in his hometown. Klay became disillusioned with his Olympic victory while it was a measure of his athletic prowess it had hardly validated him in the eyes of his detractors clay had valued argued the metal because he thought it validated him in the eyes of others he had represented his country honorably and yet still was subject to derision and abuse from bigots as Klay rose to prominence he vowed to never again hold himself to someone else's expectations not his coaches not his family's and certainly not his racist neighbors from Louisville he was going to be whatever fighter he wanted to be. Uh when we come back a legend unfolds a crusade begins and Cassius Clay Becomes Mohammed Ali.

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