Muhammad Ali: Hero or Villain?

Essay by riddler1947High School, 12th grade August 2004

download word file, 10 pages 5.0

Downloaded 71 times

Muhammad Ali will be remembered long after his death. Considered by many to be the greatest boxer ever to step in the squared circle, Ali was blessed with the speed, power and stamina to become the world's heavyweight champion. Ali was also no stranger to controversy throughout his career as many have praised him for his actions whilst many have criticised and condemned him. Ali, even over twenty years after his retirement from the sport that gave him fame, he is still one of the most recognised figures in the world today. Countless books, articles, documentaries as well as blockbuster films have featured the great boxer. The fact that Ali will be remembered is undisputed. How he is remembered varies greatly. Some view Ali as a great champion not only inside but also outside the ring. Other views see Ali as an arrogant, unpatriotic, outspoken racist. The different views create an historical debate, which is affected greatly by context.

In the case of Muhammad Ali, the responder witnesses how traditionally he was mostly viewed from a very negative perspective but in a contemporary society he is now seen, by the majority, in a positive light. These conflicting views can be seen through a number of historical texts and how they interpret events and areas of Muhammad Ali's life. Through analysing these texts as well as the events in Ali's life this essay discusses and decides whether Ali truly is a hero or villain.

Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. As a young boy Clay was always more interested in boxing than his studies. This passion for boxing began when Ali's bike was stolen as a young teenager. Clay reported the crime to a policeman who referred him to boxing trainer...