Muhammad Ali net worth: Muhammad Ali was a retired American boxer who had a net worth of $50 million. Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr on January 17th, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. His father painted billboards signs and his mother stayed at home to raised Cassius and his younger brother. Ali became interested in boxing at the age of 12 after his bike was stolen and he flew into a wild rage at the scene of the crime. The police officer on the scene saw Clay's anger and advised him to channel it into boxing. Cassius partnered with boxing coach Fred Stoner and together they would go on to win many championships including six Kentucky Golden Gloves, an Amateur Athletic Junior Title, and two National Golden Gloves. His biggest achievement as an amateur was winning the light heavyweight gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. His amateur record was 100 wins and 5 losses.
After the Olympics, Clay returned to Louisville where he began his professional career. He made his winning debut on October 29th 1960 and he stayed undefeated for three straight years. 15 out of the 19 fights ended with knock outs. This was attributed to Clay's unusual boxing style. Boxers of his height and figure usually relied on keeping their hands high to defend the face but Clay used his quickness to avoid punches and kept his hands low. Clay quickly began to build a reputation for himself. He was famous for announcing what round his fellow boxer would go down, and was right seven times. Beyond that, he also began taunting his opponents before each match. Soon Cassius became the top contender to go up against Sonny Liston, who was the current title holder. Even though Clay had an amazing record, he still went into the fight as the underdog. In the end, Clay beat Liston and at twenty-two became the youngest fighter to ever steal the title from a heavyweight champion.
Cassius officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 when he joined the Nation of Islam. In 1971, Ali participated in what was hailed as the fight of the century when on March 8th he went up against heavyweight title holder Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden. The fight lived up to its name as the two undefeated fighters went toe to toe for 15 rounds. In the end, Frazier would take the fight, serving Ali his first professional loss. Ali and Frazier would meet once again but this time not in a title fight, Frazier had already lost his title to George Foreman. This time Ali took Frazier down which set up a fight against Foreman. The match between Ali and Foreman was called "The Rumble in the Jungle" because it took place in Kinshasa, Zaire. Ali went into the fight once again as the underdog, and once again surprised the world when he defeated Foreman to regain the heavyweight title in 1981. In 1984 Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's Syndrome. The syndrome took away Ali's voice and motor skills. Regardless of this setback, he was very active in the fight against Parkinson during his lifetime. In 1996 he was given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame. He will likely go down in history the greatest Heavy Weight champions of all time. Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali died on June 4, 2016 at the age of 74.
Muhammad Ali Career Earnings
Ali was not the first boxer to earn $1 million for a fight, that honor went to Gene Tunney in 1927 for his rematch against Jack Dempsey. But Ali did earn $2.5 million in 1971 to fight Joe Frazier. That's the same as $15 million today. He then earned $5.45 million fighting George Foreman in 1974. That's the same as $26 million today. Ali's biggest career paycheck came in 1980 when he took home $7.9 million for fighting Larry Holmes. Interestingly, when adjusted for inflation, $7.9 million in 1980 is equal to $22 million today, which technically makes Ali's $5.45 million 1974 check the biggest payday of his career.
In 2006, Ali reportedly sold the rights to his name and image for $50 million. As part of that deal, Ali held on to a 20% interest in his licensing. That 20% stake has resulted in $7 million per year in revenue.