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Muhammad Ali Facts & Trivia

Collection of Trivia Questions and Facts about Muhammad Ali and his Life

Many boxing fans, historians and aficionados look for interesting and unique Muhammad Ali facts or trivia information. It’s a great way to get to know more about the legend of Ali, what he accomplished, and what his life like. It’s also a bit quicker than reading a full biography – or several of them. These Muhammad Ali facts have been compiled through extensive research utilizing books, articles, well known details about his life, and more.

Take a look at this huge collection of Muhammad Ali facts and you’ll know just about everything there is to know about the man both in and out of the boxing ring.

Muhammad Ali Facts: Personal Life

  • Born: January 17th, 1942
  • Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
  • Given name: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.
  • Name Change: Became Cassius X, and then Muhammad Ali in 1964
  • Parents: Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr. and Odessa Grady Clay
  • Siblings: Rahman Ali (Rudolph V. Clay)
  • Nicknames: The Greatest, The Louisville Lip, G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time), The Champ
  • Marriages: Married 4 times (Sonji Roi August 1964-January-1966; Belinda Boyd August 1967-1977; Veronica Porsche 1977-1986; Yolanda Ali November 1986-Current)
  • Children: 7 daughters and 2 sons (3 daughters and a son with Sonji Roi, two daughters, including Laila Ali, with Veronica Porsche; 1 son [adopted] with Yolanda Ali; 2 daughters from other relationships)
  • Movies about his life: “The Greatest” in 1977; “When We Were Kings” 1996; “Ali” 2001
  • Actors who played Ali: 2 – himself, Will Smith
  • Vietnam War saga:
    • Originally ineligible
    • 1966 standards change makes Ali “1A” and eligible
    • Refuses induction as conscientious objector in April of 1967 and stripped of heavyweight title
    • Found guilty in June of 1967
    • Returns to boxing October of 1970
    • Decision reversed by Supreme Court in 1971

Muhammad Ali Facts: Amateur Boxing Career

  • How he got started boxing: A stolen bicycle in October of 1954, and Louisville policeman Joe Martin, get young Cassius to the gym to learn how to fight
  • Gold medal in Rome: Wins Olympic Gold at the 1960 games in Rome at light heavyweight on September 5, 1960 at 18 years old. He subsequently tosses the medal into a river upon returning home and facing racism.
  • Amateur record: 100-5
  • Amateur titles: 6 Kentucky Golden Gloves, 2 national Golden Gloves, AAU national title

Muhammad Ali Facts: Professional Boxing Career

    • First pro fight: October 29th, 1960 against Tunney Hunsaker
    • Last pro fight: December 11th, 1981 against Trevor Berbick
    • Career record: 56-5 with 37 knockouts in 61 total bouts (see complete Muhammad Ali record & timeline)
    • Total Rounds: 550
    • Number of fighters rematched: 9 (Joe Frazier [3 fights]; Ken Norton [3 fights], Jerry Quarry; George Chuvalo; Joe Bugner; Leon Spinks; Floyd Patterson; Sonny Liston; Henry Cooper)
    • Record in rematches: 11-0 (including third fights with Frazier and Norton)
    • Record in fights that went the distance: 19-4
    • Split decisions won: 1
    • Split decisions lost: 2

  • Number of countries fought in: 11 (United States, England, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Ireland, Congo, Malaysia, Philippines, Bahamas [Puerto Rico would be 12])
  • Length of professional career: 21 years and two months
  • Absence from sport after being stripped of title: 3 years and 7 months
  • Longest inactivity not suspended: 15 months in between first and second Sonny Liston fights
  • Times knocked down: 4 (Sonny Banks in 1962; Henry Cooper in 1963; Joe Frazier 1971; Chuck Wepner 1975)
  • Times knocked out: 0, suffered one stoppage loss to Larry Holmes
  • Retirements: 3 official retirements (1967 after being stripped; 1979 after beating Spinks; 1981 for good after losing to Trevor Berbick)
  • Fights Known by name: 3 ( Ali vs. Joe Frazier I – “Fight of the Century”; Ali vs. George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” from Kinshasha, Zaire; Ali vs. Frazier III “Thrilla in Manila” from Manila, Philippines)
  • Tactics Known by name: 1 “Rope-a-Dope”

Muhammad Ali Facts: Championships and Career Accomplishments

  • Youngest heavyweight champion: Defeats Sonny Liston on February 25th, 1964, becoming the then youngest heavyweight champion at 22 years and 1 month old
  • Record in championship fights not including NABF title: 22-3
  • Successful championship defenses: 19
  • Number of times won championship: 3 time champion; first heavyweight to do so
  • Champions beaten: 7 (Archie Moore; Sonny Liston; Floyd Patterson; Bob Foster, Joe Frazier; George Foreman; Leon Spinks)
  • Undefeated fighters beaten: 3 (Billy Daniels; George Foreman; Leon Spinks)
  • Ring’s Fighter of the Year: 5 (1963; 1972, 1974, 1975, 1978) more than anyone else
  • Ring’s Fight of the Year: 6 (1963 vs. Doug Jones; 1964 vs. Sonny Liston; 1971 vs. Joe Frazier; 1974 vs. George Foreman; 1975 vs. Joe Frazier; 1978 vs. Leon Spinks)
  • Hall of famers faced: 8 (Archie Moore; Ken Norton; Floyd Patterson; Sonny Liston; Larry Holmes; George Foreman; Bob Foster; Joe Frazier)
  • Hall of Famers beaten: 7 (all but Holmes)
  • IBHOF inductee: in 1990
  • Sports Illustrated covers: 37 appearances, second to Michael Jordan
  • SI “Sportsman of the Year”: 1974; one of three boxers ever
  • “Of the Century” awards:
    • Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Century”
    • BBC’s “Sports Personality of the Century”
    • GQ magazine’s “Athlete of the Century”
    • World Sports Award’s “World Sportsman of the Century”
    • 1993 poll finds Muhammad Ali most recognized athlete by Americans, tied with Babe Ruth at 97%

Hopefully you enjoyed all of these Muhammad Ali facts, put them to use for simply improving your knowledge of the game, stumping your buddies with some trivia questions, writing up a personal essay or anything else.