Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer who retired in 1981. At the time of his death on 3rd June 2016, Ali had a net worth estimated at $50 million. Here’s is a story of how he amassed such wealth by becoming one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Muhammad Ali Net Worth: Career Beginnings
Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. At the age of 12, he had his bicycle stolen from him. Helpless, angry and frustrated over the incidence, police officer and boxing coach Joe E. Martin approached and introduced him to boxing. Immediately Clay began training with boxing coach Fred Stoner. As an amateur he had 100 wins and 3 losses, among his wins included 6 Kentucky Golden Gloves, 2 National Golden Gloves and 1 Amateur Athletic Junior Title. The highlight of his amateur career was at the 1960 Olympic where he won the light heavyweight gold medal.
Muhammad Ali Net Worth: Professional Career
Immediately after the Olympic, Clay went pro, he won his debut pro fight on October 1960 and remained undefeated for 3 straight years, winning all 19 of his fights including 15 KO’s. He quickly gained popularity for his boxing style and controversial character. He was known for taunting his opponents before and during the fight and announcing before the bout what round he’d win.
Clay defeated all but one, Sonny Liston who was at the time the world heavyweight champion. The match was scheduled for February 25, 1964 and Clay had a 7-1 odd of beating Liston. However, the match was a great and unexpected upset as Clay beat Liston stripping him off his title. Clay was at the time 22 years old, making him the youngest boxer to snap the title from a champion. Later in 1964, Clay made the conversion to Islam changing his name to Muhammad Ali. He went on to win more bouts including popular ones versus Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell the latter which was described as one of the cruelest fights in boxing history.
See Also: Floyd Mayweather Net Worth
Muhammad Ali Net Worth: Arrest And Comeback
As his popularity increased so did his cynical nature, Ali often used boxing press conferences to discuss the controversial topics like the Vietnam War, integration, and interracial marriages. He was arrested and sentenced to 5 years behind bars for refusing to participate in the Vietnam War. He was stripped off his titles and remained inactive for 4 years. However, Ali appealed successfully and had his conviction over turned.
He made the return to the ring in 1970 and in 1971 he lost his first ever pro bout to then world heavyweight title holder Joe Frazier (Ali earned $2.5 million- $15 million today). Ali would later beat Frazier in a rematch that didn’t involve a title. He then faced George Foreman in 1974 in a match dubbed “The Rumble in the Jungle”, Ali was again the underdog but proved yet again that he was indeed The Greatest by winning the match to claim the title a second time. He made $5.45 million, $26 million today.
He lost the title in 1978 to Leon Spinks but regained it in a rematch later the same year to make him the first heavyweight to win the title a record three times.
Ali, had a number of other bouts in the later days of his career, he first announced his retirement in the late 1970’s but suspended it, despite his waning health. Ali fought majorly for the money as he was rumored to be nearly bankrupt. His bout versus Larry Holmes in 1980 which he lost, gave him the biggest paycheck of his boxing career- $7.9 million. The Greatest retired in 1981.
Muhammad Ali Net Worth: Post Retirement
After retirement, Ali was by no means idle, he made appearances in many social and political gatherings. He was a guest referee at a WWE match and lit the flame at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Ali formed GOAT LLC (Greatest of All Time), a corporation that managed his endorsements and licencing, in 2006 he sold his 80% stake in the company for $50 million, he maintained 20% which saw him earned at least $5 million yearly. It is said that the 20% stake could be worth somewhere between $30 and $50 million.
Ali was diagnosed of Parkinsons syndrome in 1984 which was followed by subsequent sicknesses that lead to his death from septic shock in June 2016.