50 Years Ago Today Muhammad Ali Beat Sonny Liston for the Heavyweight Championship
On February 25, 1964, Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston in Miami Beach. Of course, that was before he converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Ali upset the heavily favored Liston, who gave up in the sixth round. The boxing gloves Ali wore recently fetched $837,000 in an auction.
Yes, I was 4 years old when Cassius Clay transcended boxing and became a legend. He was "The King of the World" after his 6th round TKO of Liston.
After beating Ali won their rematch, Liston's career was done. Down the road he became a bag man for the mob, got addicted to heroin and is buried in Las Vegas.
Cassius Clay was a young, brash, cocky, trash talker from Louisville who could back it up. His professional career was on the cusp of a roller coaster ride.
After his arrival, Muhammad Ali was ready to take on the world--or so he thought. He aligned himself with Malcom X and started a famous rivalry against the late "Smokin" Joe Frazier.
Ali took on all comers, but he found his toughest opponent in the U.S Government. The Vietnam War was raging. Ali was drafted but refused to go into the armed services, because it was against his religious beliefs.
Cassius Clay, who transformed into Muhammad Ali, now suffers from Parkinson's disease. His career brought us a timeless personality, "rope-a-dope," a reinstatement back into boxing amid controversy, and more.
This man will go down as one of the greatest fighters and athletes of all time. It all got rolling 50 years today.