History

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali brings to life one of the most indelible figures of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated millions of fans across the world with his mesmerizing combination of speed, grace, and power in the ring, and charm and playful boasting outside of it. Ali insisted on being himself unconditionally and became a global icon and inspiration to people everywhere.

Round Four: The Spell Remains (1974-2016)

1h 39m

Muhammad Ali shocks the world by defeating George Foreman, winning back the heavyweight title and becoming the most famous man on earth. After retiring in 1981, he travels the world spreading his Islamic faith, and becomes a symbol of peace and hope.

Episodes

  • Round Four: The Spell Remains (1974-2016): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Round Four: The Spell Remains (1974-2016)

    S1 E4 - 1h 39m

    Muhammad Ali shocks the world by defeating George Foreman, winning back the heavyweight title and becoming the most famous man on earth. After retiring in 1981, he travels the world spreading his Islamic faith, and becomes a symbol of peace and hope.

  • Round Three: The Rivalry (1970 - 1974): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Round Three: The Rivalry (1970 - 1974)

    S1 E3 - 1h 50m

    Muhammad Ali battles his fiercest rival, Joe Frazier, and the U.S. government, as he attempts to regain the heavyweight title. He first loses to and then defeats Frazier, but to become champion again, he will have to beat George Foreman.

  • Round Two: What's My Name? (1964-1970): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Round Two: What's My Name? (1964-1970)

    S1 E2 - 1h 54m

    Cassius Clay publicly joins the Nation of Islam and takes the name Muhammad Ali. When he refuses induction into the Army, he is stripped of his title and forced into exile. After three years he returns to the ring, but he’s lost a step.

  • Round One: The Greatest (1942-1964): asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Round One: The Greatest (1942-1964)

    S1 E1 - 2h 9m

    Boxer Cassius Clay rises up the amateur ranks to win gold at the 1960 Olympics. He turns professional, sharpening his boxing skills and honing his genius for self-promotion. In 1964, he upsets Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion.

Extras + Features

  • Muhammad Ali's Devotion to Islam: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali's Devotion to Islam

    S1 E4 - 2m 14s

    As Muhammad Ali's devotion to Islam grew, he began to pray five times each day, discussed religion with friends, and frequently traveled the Muslim world. In 1987, Muhammad and Lonnie Ali visited schools, hospitals and mosques in Pakistan, and in 1989 made a pilgrimage to Mecca during Ramadan.

  • Preparing for The Rumble in the Jungle: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Preparing for The Rumble in the Jungle

    S1 E4 - 4m 3s

    Muhammad Ali, Belinda, and his family arrive in Kinshasa aboard President Mobutu's private plane. There he received praise from most of Zaire as a fan favorite against the undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman. Meanwhile, his opponent would keep a low profile prior to their match in what would become known as "The Rumble in the Jungle."

  • Fighting Words Before the Thrilla in Manila: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fighting Words Before the Thrilla in Manila

    S1 E4 - 1m 29s

    Leading up to his fight with Joe Frazier in the Philippines, the Thrilla in Manila, Muhammad Ali would publicly insult Frazier's intelligence and even sneak into one of his training sessions to verbally harass him from the rafters. Frazier would never forgive him.

  • Muhammad Ali is Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali is Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease

    S1 E4 - 3m 3s

    In November of 1982, Ali returned to the gym to train for a three-week exhibition tour, with stops planned in Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan. However, since retiring, Ali's health, as well as the health of his former boxing assistants, had intensely deteriorated. In 1984, after checking himself into Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, Ali was given a devastating diagnosis: Parkinson's disease.

  • Muhammad Ali Marries Belinda Boyd in Chicago: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali Marries Belinda Boyd in Chicago

    S1 E2 - 2m 50s

    In 1966, Muhammad Ali met 16-year-old Belinda Boyd at a Nation of Islam bakery, and the two married on August 18, 1967. Living together in Chicago, the couple initially struggled to make ends meet when Ali wasn't fighting, and Belinda would sew clothes, use some of her college funds, and sometimes even received money in secrecy from Elijah Muhammad to support them.

  • Outlash Follows Muhammad Ali's Criticism of the Vietnam War: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Outlash Follows Muhammad Ali's Criticism of the Vietnam War

    S1 E2 - 6m 15s

    After publicly condemning the Vietnam War, Muhammad Ali and his team faced difficulties finding a new location for his fight against Ernie Terrell. Attorney General William Clark declared the fight illegal and they were turned away from venues across the U.S. When the fight moved to Canada, Terrell pulled out, unhappy with changes to the contract, and Ali instead fought Canada's George Chuvalo.

  • Muhammad Ali Is Found Guilty of Refusing the Draft: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali Is Found Guilty of Refusing the Draft

    S1 E2 - 2m 39s

    An all-white Houston jury found Muhammad Ali guilty of refusing the draft. He was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000. His lawyers filed an appeal. Though he remained free during this time, he was stripped of his title and was not allowed to box. Still, he expressed that going into service would be against his faith and the teachings of Islam.

  • Muhammad Ali Embarks on a Tour Across Africa: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali Embarks on a Tour Across Africa

    S1 E2 - 3m 2s

    As Muhammad Ali embarked on his tour of African countries, he was showered with praise everywhere he traveled. At the conclusion of Ali's tour, Malcolm X, a former friend and mentor to Ali, called on Ali to remember his responsibility to the people of Africa and beyond.

  • Muhammad Ali's Focus on Racial Justice: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali's Focus on Racial Justice

    S1 E2 - 2m 3s

    At a press conference, Muhammad Ali announced his strong consideration for an early retirement, describing how he was tired of boxing and wanted to focus on fighting for racial justice. In America at the time, progress appeared imminent with the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The road to racial justice, however, was far from over.

  • 'I'm Free to be Who I Want to Be': asset-mezzanine-16x9

    'I'm Free to be Who I Want to Be'

    S1 E2 - 5m 34s

    In 1964, at the young age of 22, Cassius Clay claimed the heavyweight title after defeating Sonny Liston — further cementing Clay's dominant presence in the boxing world. However, despite Clay's unequivocal prowess as a boxer, he drew criticism for his outspoken socio-political and religious beliefs, with many condemning him as "un-American."

  • Muhammad Ali Fights Cleveland 'Big Cat' Williams: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Muhammad Ali Fights Cleveland 'Big Cat' Williams

    S1 E2 - 2m 12s

    Muhammad Ali's promoters secured the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, where he would fight army veteran Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams, who was widely recognized for being a big hitter. Here, the young boxer introduced his new move, the Ali shuffle, into the ring. The referee ended the fight a minute into round three and Ali would claim his victory.

Schedule

  • Image
    Muhammad Ali: TVSS: Iconic

    Muhammad Ali

    Round One: The Greatest (1942-1964)

    Sunday
    Oct 3

    2 Hours 30 Minutes

    Boxer Cassius Clay rises from the amateur ranks to win gold at the 1960 Olympics and become a contender for the heavyweight championship title.
  • Image
    Muhammad Ali: TVSS: Iconic

    Muhammad Ali

    Round Two: What's My Name? (1964-1970)

    Sunday
    Oct 3

    2 Hours

    Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and takes on the name Muhammad Ali; when he refuses induction into the U.S. Army, he loses his title and is forced into exile.
  • Image
    Muhammad Ali: TVSS: Iconic

    Muhammad Ali

    Round Three: The Rivalry (1970-1974)

    Sunday
    Oct 3

    2 Hours

    After his return from exile, Muhammad Ali battles Joe Frazier and the U.S. government as he attempts to regain the heavyweight title.
  • Image
    Muhammad Ali: TVSS: Iconic

    Muhammad Ali

    Round Four: The Spell Remains (1974-2016)

    Sunday
    Oct 3

    2 Hours

    Muhammad Ali defeats George Foreman, winning back the heavyweight title; after retiring in 1981, he travels the world as a symbol of peace and hope.

Ali in Washington

Ali in Washington

3m 2s

On April 22, 1967, Muhammad Ali visited Howard University in Washington and gave a speech emphasizing Black pride, just days before refusing induction into the U.S. army to fight in the Vietnam War. Howard students were in the midst of their own protests over the war and Howard's identity as a Black university. For student leaders like Tony Gittens, Ali's visit was a turning point.

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