Today is the 50th Anniversary of the fight between Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston vs the younger Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay. Ali was a young undefeated boxer who was 8-1 underdog to win this fight.
It was on February 25, 1964, in front of more than 8,000 fans at the Convention Hall in Miami Beach when then 22-year-old Ali shocked the Boxing and Sports world by making world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston quit in the 7 round. Liston would complain that he had injured his shoulder. The fight was ruled a seventh-round technical knockout in Ali’s resume.
It was during the build up to this fight that Ali would coin his famous phrase saying that he was going to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” and knock out Liston on the 8th round. Liston in return stated that the fight was not going to last more than 2 rounds.
Muhammad Ali youth and quickness proved to be much for Liston as he kept connecting on Liston. Sonny in return couldn’t deal with Ali’s quickness as he tried to land a powerful shot on the first round that he swung and missed and supposedly injured his shoulder from that first round to the end of the fight.
When being interviewed after the fight, Ali shouted, “I Shook Up The World!” Muhammad Ali celebrated his upset victory by going to a private party at a Miami Hotel that was attended by Malcolm X, a dear friend of Ali. Shortly after winning the Heavyweight Title, Muhammad Ali announced to the world that he was joining the Nation of Islam. Later that year, the name Cassius Clay would vanish from the minds of sports fans and the world would be introduced to one of the greatest boxing names of all time-Muhammad Ali.
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