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Black History Fact of the Week: Muhammad Ali

OW Staff Writer | 6/22/2011, 5 p.m.

On June 25, 1967, heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title as heavyweight champion.

The action was a result of his defiant stand against what he thought was an unjust war. He refused induction into the Army after being drafted, stating that he was a practicing Muslim minister and that his religious beliefs prevented him fighting in the Vietnam War. During the controversy, Ali argued that he had no quarrel with the Viet Cong.

Ali's stance put him afoul of the U.S. government, and the Justice Department began its pursuit of the highly revered boxer.

Though at the peak of his professional prowess, Ali put his career on the line and stood his ground, forfeiting the right to compete for three and half years. Ali was found guilty, but cleared his name after a lengthy court battle.

After his forced hiatus from the "sweet science," he returned to the ring to become the first boxer to win the heavyweight title for the third time.

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