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The World Boxing Association (WBA) stripped him of his title and the New York State Athletic Commission barred him from fighting in the state. Ali did not spend a day in jail, however, as his case stayed in appeals. But for nearly four years, he was not allowed to fight.

In his time away from the ring, he became a figure of the anti-war movement and lectured at colleges and universities across the country. Ali’s case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971, which ruled in his favor allowing him his status as a conscientious objector.

Although Ali fought Jerry Quarry in 1970 after the Atlanta Athletic Commission granted him a license, he made a big return to prizefighting in 1971 in a loss to Joe Frazier. Ali would avenge that loss in 1972, and later regained a world title in 1974 in his defeat of George Foreman.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Muhammad Ali Refuses Draft  was originally published on

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