Ali, however, proved to be a "fighting champion," accepting the challenges of every heavyweight with ranking credentials. He was stripped of his title in 1967 for refusing to join the Army during the Vietnam War. The government prosecuted him for draft dodging and the boxing commissions took away his license. He was idle for three and a half years at the peak of his career. In 1971 the Supreme Court ruled that the government had acted improperly and was allowed to resume fighting. He won back the championship in 1974 in about with George Foreman. He lost the crown again in 1978 to Leon Spinks but regained it the same year, thus becoming the first man to win the title three times. Other than Joe Frazier (in 1971) and Spinks, the only boxers to defeat Ali, who had a 55-5 record, were Ken Norton (1973), who later lost to Ali; Larry Holmes (1980), who foiled Ali's try for a fourth heavyweight championship; and Trevor Berbick (1981), after which fight Ali retired. The Ali-Frazier fights rank among the greatest in fistic history. In later years Ali developed Parkinsonís disease, caused by blows to the head from boxing.
Muhammad Ali - A brief biography [Biographies for kids]
Illustrations by: Amarjeet Malik
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