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Cliff Bunn

“Muhammad Ali ‘The Stand’”

Oil on canvas/ 36" x 60"


Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay in Louisville Kentucky in 1942. He was an American professional boxer and activist.  Nickname “The Greatest”, he is regarded as one of the most significant sports figures of the 20th century and is often regarded as the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time. He won a gold medal at the Rome Olympics in 1960 in the light heavyweight class and turned professional a year later. Ali converted to Islam after 1961 and won the heavyweight championship by defeating Sonny Liston in a major upset on February 25, 1964, at the age of 22. During that year, he denounced his birth name as a “slave name” and formally changed his name to Muhammad Ali.  In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military owing to his religious beliefs and ethical opposition to the Vietnam War and was found guilty of draft evasion thus stripped of his boxing titles. He was not allowed to fight for four years, which were some of his prime years as a boxer. Ali stayed out of prison while appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, where his conviction was overturned in 1971. Ali regained the heavyweight title with the defeat of George Forman with the fight being billed as “Rumble in the Jungle”. Ali’s actions as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War made him an icon for the larger counterculture of the 1960’s generation, and he was a very high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement, throughout his career, and life. For his career as a championship boxer and more importantly for his moral stance against the Vietnam War, Ali was arguably the most famous and recognizable figure in the world.



@cbunzz2018; @klyffsart

Muhammad Ali ‘The Stand’

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