Muhammad Ali (born January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.), nicknamed "The Greatest", is a retired American boxer. He is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, as well as one of the world's most famous individuals, renowned the world over for his boxing and political activism. In 1999, he was crowned "Sportsman of the Century" by Sports Illustrated, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.
Ali had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. He carried his hands at his sides, rather than the orthodox boxing style of carrying the hands high to defend the face. Instead, he relied on his extraordinary reflexes and footwork to keep him away from his opponents' blows.