The other key member in Muhammad Ali’s corner throughout his fight career was with him longer than all the rest. In fact, he was the only one who was with him even before Ali had the notion to even put on a pair of boxing gloves. It was his one and only baby brother. Rudolph Arnett Clay was born approximately eighteen months after big brother Cassius. Being so close in age that they literally grew up together. So, it’s not surprising that Rudy followed his big brother into the sport of boxing. It’s rare that a son, younger sibling, or any close relative following a “superstar” elder into the same field of work receives proper credit for their own accomplishments. Even if he or she has a decent career, they are always held to the higher standard set by the superstar relative. And Rudy Clay, later Rahaman Ali, was no exception. He was a good amateur boxer. But he failed to make the boxing team for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, unlike his brother who brought home Olympic gold. While Rudy remained an amateur, his brother went about climbing the contender ranks towards the world heavyweight championship. Rudy finally turned pro in 1964. His successful pro debut took place on the undercard the night his brother won the heavyweight championship of the world in a shocking upset over Sonny Liston. Rudy went undefeated in his first seven pro bouts. When his brother the champ announced he had become a Black Muslim to be now known as Muhammad Ali, Rudy also had converted and changed his name to Rahaman Ali. While continuing his own albeit slower developing pro boxing career, he became a fixture in his brother’s entourage serving as his chief sparring partner and defacto bodyguard. When big brother was suspended from boxing and exiled for over three years for refusing induction in to the military, the record reflects that the then 4-0, 2 kos, Rahaman Ali also did not have a fight during that time. He resumed his own fight career two months prior to Muhammad’s Oct. 1970 comeback and recorded a win. He then fought on the undercards of Muhammad’s first three return bouts. And just like his big brother, he won the first 2 fights before suffering his first pro loss on the same night Muhammad lost to Frazier. Rahaman then reeled off another 7 straight victories over the next couple of years. But after a draw and two defeats in his next 3 fights, punctuated by a knockout loss to Jack O’Halloran on 9-13-72, Rahaman Ali retired with a 14-3-1 record. Rahaman continued to work for and travel the world with his brother until Muhammad Ali retired from boxing. In a recent interview he said that the two remained close and stayed in touch until he had a falling out with Muhammad’s wife Lonnie, claiming that after that she would not allow him to see or talk to Muhammad. Twice during Ali’s final couple of years, Rahaman was criticized for “crying wolf’ to the press about his brother having died or being near death. Both times the claims were proven false by statements and photos provided by Muhammad Ali’s children. Rahaman Ali says that his words were misquoted or taken out of context.¬†Some siblings might grow resentful and bitter after a lifetime in a famous sibling’s ¬†shadow. But that does not appear to be the case with Rahaman Ali. In fact, his autobiography published in January of 2015 is entitled, “That’s Muhammad Ali’s Brother! My Life on the Undercard” and was co-written with H. Ron Brashear. He says he wants that same title carved on his tombstone. Rahaman Ali says he lived a great life thanks to his famous brother. He helped to oversee the restoration of the childhood home where he and Muhammad grew up in Louisville during it’s conversion to museum status. Although not diagnosed with Parkinson’s as of yet, he has said he is suffering from the onset of memory loss. Now age 73, Rahaman Ali is happily married to his wife of over nine years, his best friend, Caroline.