After he won the championship he changed his name and converted to Islam which shocked the world. Not long after he gave up four of his best year boxing in what was the fight that most defined him. When Ali refused induction into the military he was arrested and chose jail time rather than flee to Mexico or Canada. This decision for him was the only one that he could make, the people who were oppressing minorities in the US wanted him to go kill for them. While Ali was a fighter, he was not a murderer and so he chose to give up years of boxing and his freedom.
Near the end of his boxing career in January of 1981 Ali talked a man out of jumping from a ninth story ledge. It was three months after the most devastating loss of his career. Ali came out to talk a man down and the police didn’t want Ali involved even though they had tried to talk to the man for hours. Ali told the man, “I’m your brother, I love you, and I won’t lie to you. You got to listen. I want you to come home with me, meet some friends of mine.” After half a hour Ali walked out with the man and drove him away. Later Ali would accompany the man to a Veteran’s Administration Hospital where he would undergo a 72 hour mental health examination. The identity of the man that Muhammad Ali saved that day was lost to history.
In 1998 Muhammad Ali was designated as a UN Messenger of Peace. He had spent much of his post boxing career in the pursuit of peace and understanding. A few years before retiring he went to the UN to address the UN Special Committee against Apartheid with a message of peace. As a UN Messenger of peace he made a trip to Afghanistan in 2002. His mission was to bring people of all races together to teach healing to all.
On November, 19 2005 the non-profit Muhammad Ali Center opened; the center focuses on Ali’s core values of respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, charity, and spirituality. During his life Ali strived to be lead by these core principles and in his quest to inspire people around the world, dedicating himself to be the best person he could be, helping others, and standing up for what he believed in. Now that Ali has passed the Muhammad Ali Center is dedicating to preserving and sharing the legacy of Muhammad Ali; to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire others to be as great as they can be. Just like the Greatest.