January 17 is the day could be called The Boxer's Day, so many great boxing personalities were born on this day. But, no doubt, that the most flashing figure of all of them is the man, who often is called The King of Boxing, or simply The Greatest- Muhammad Ali!
Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. was born 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky. At the age of nearly 18 he won the gold medal of 1960 Rome Olympics, at light-heavy (81 Kilo), beating such an experienced fighters as previous Olympic Champion, The Russian Gennadi Shatkov and 4-time European Champion, The Pole Zbignew Petrzykowski. Turning to pro, Clay became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world in 1964, beating by TKO in the 7-th, hard-hitting Sonny Liston. After this success Clay was converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. He became WBA and WBC champion of the world for four times, and had 21 defenses on his way. During 21-years-long professional carrier, Ali has the record of 56(37 KO)-5(1 KO). Ali was involved in the number of fights, which were recorded in the history of sport of 20-th Century. The fights against such a great champions as Liston, Patterson, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes. In 1974, after the famous victory over George Foreman in Zaire, Ali was named The Worlds Sportsman of the Year. The famous magazine Sports Illustrated and BBC Chanel named Ali The Sportsman of the Century and The Most Notable Personality of the 20-th Century! On January 17 Muhammad Ali is celebrating his 72-nd Birthday Party!
On January 17, 1908, in Bronx, NY, was born one of the greatest boxing coaches and managers, Cus, or Constantine D'Amato. D'Amato himself never had a single fight on the ring, he started coaching at the age of 22, when he first opened his own gym. D'Amato used to train and managing many great champions, including Olympic middleweight champion and later world heavyweight champion, Floyd Patterson, middleweight champion Rocky Graziano, light-heavyweight champion, The Puerto-Rican Jose Torres. But the real D'Amato's coaching art model was Iron Mike Tyson, whom he took to the boxing gym from the reform school and adopted him later on. D'Amato was the developer of the "peak-a-boo" boxing style, when the fighter holds his hands high in front of his face to defend himself. Cus D'Amato died 1985 at the age of 77. On this year's January 17 he would became 106-years-old!
On January 17, 1955, was born the first and the only Polish amateur world champion, Henryk Srednicki. Srednicki won the gold of 1978 World Championships in Beograd, at flyweight (51 Kilo). Twice Henryk captured the gold of European Championships, 1977 in Halle, Germany, at light-flyweight (48 Kilo) and 1979 in Cologne, Germany, at flyweight. Also, Srednicki represented Poland on two Olympics, 1976 in Montreal and 1980 in Moscow. This year Henryk Srednicki becomes 59-years-old!
The greatest ever Nigerian amateur boxer, 1978 lightweight (60 Kilo) World Champion in Beograd, Davidson Andeh, was born 1958 in Lagos. 20-years-old Andeh won all his five opponents in Beograd to captured the world title. After turning to professional ring, Andeh won the African title. On January 17, Davidson Andeh is 56!
1964 in Brentwood, NY, was born one of the today's best professional coaches, Buddy McGirt. In the full name James Walter McGirt as fighter himself, won the IBF light-welter and WBC welterweight titles. He beat Simon Brown of Jamaica and The Italian Patrizio Oliva, but lost his WBC belt to the famous Pernell Whitaker. As coach, Buddy used to work with the stars as Antonio Tarver, Arturo Gatti, Vernon Forrest, Lamon Brewster. On January 17, Buddy McGirt is celebrating his Big Anniversary- 50!
1987 in Simferopol, Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, was born 2012 London Olympics heavyweight (91 Kilo) Champion, Alexander Usyk. In London Usyk has won the world's leading heavyweights, as European and world champion, The Russian Artur Beterbiev and two-time World Champion, The Italian Clemente Russo. Also, Usyk has captured 2008 European Championships at light-heavy (81 Kilo) and 2011 World Championships in Baku. On the moment, Usyk has turned pro. On January 17, Alexander Usyk becomes 27-years-old!