written by Randy Gordon
reviewed by Jose Pedraza, age 14
I recently read a biography of Muhammad Ali written by Randy Gordon. Ali is one of the most famous American boxers in history.
Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky by the name Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. His father’s name was Cassius Clay Sr., and his mother’s name was Odessa. Ali also had a younger brother named Rudolph Arnett Clay. Ali later became a Muslim and as a result, changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
The first time Ali ever wanted to fight was when someone stole his brand new bicycle. When reporting the crime he told the police officer, “If I find the kid that took my bike, I am going to beat him real bad.”
Ali was the youngest person to win the Heavyweight Championship. He often made up poems about the people he was about to fight.
Viewers often named Ali’s fights. The biggest fight was the Thrilla in Manila, his last fight before retiring. Surprisingly, he came out of retirement to challenge a new champion. He lost because he was getting old and slow, causing him to retire for good. He married three times, fathered multiple children and adopted one. The adopted child, Lalia Ali, followed her father’s footsteps and became a boxer.
The chapters in the book are called “rounds,” like in a boxing match. Round one tells the story of one of Ali’s greatest fights-his surprising victory over Sonny Liston to win the world Heavyweight Championship. That fight took place in 1964, and still stands today as one of the greatest upsets in boxing history.
I liked this book because I wanted to learn more about Muhammad Ali and I figured it would teach me about this sport in case I decided to take it up sometime in the future. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to learn about the magnificent Ali, and to anyone who might like to box. The book also tells readers a lot about American history.