17th January 1942
On This Day Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1942. Ali began training as an amateur boxer at the age of 12 and just Six weeks later, Clay fought and won his first bout, by the age of 18 he had amassed a record of over 100 amateur competition wins.
In 1959, he won the International Golden Gloves heavyweight title and in 1960 a gold medal in the light heavyweight category at the Summer Olympic Games in Rome.
Clay who was nicknamed the “Louisville Lip,” turned professional shortly after the Olympics and went undefeated in his first 19 bouts, in Just 4 short years he went on to win the heavyweight world title when he shook up the world in 1964 beating Sonny Liston. He changed his name to Muhammad Ali shortly after.