1. October 29, 1960 (1-0) Freedom Hall State Fairgrounds in Louisville, Kentucky. The gist: Hunsaker was the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia, at the time of his fight with Cassius Clay, who won a six-round unanimous decision. By the end of the bout, Hunsaker's eyes were swollen shut, and he later said, "Clay was as swift as lightning."
2. April 8, 1964 (the first date listed in the official record book) In Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. The gist: This is where it all started for Clay, who had only one goal in mind when he walked into the ring: to become heavyweight champion of the world. He did not care that this fight would not determine the real title holder; rather, it was seen as a tune-up for his rival, Sonny Liston. Clay's plan worked, as he beat the much-feared Liston by knockout in the ninth round. After the match, Clay refused to leave the ring, so the referee had no choice but to award him the win by default.
3. May 25, 1974 (Ali's final fight before entering prison) In Manila's Rizal Memorial Stadium. The gist: This is where it all ended for Clay, who was set to face Ali again after winning their second battle in 1973. However, just like their first meeting, this one too was stopped in the tenth round due to punches.
192 kilos Hunsaker was the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia, when he faced Cassius Clay, who won a six-round unanimous decision.
After the fight, which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 31, 1964, at the Las Vegas International Forum, news reporters asked both men how they felt about the match up. Clay replied, "I'm the man. I win." Ali then added, "He's no chicken. I'll be ready for him next time."
The following month, on April 21, 1964, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Clay would finally meet his match when he took on former heavyweight champion Ali. The fight became known as the "Fight of the Century" due to its dramatic final round. With just seconds left on the clock, Clay made one last attempt to defeat Ali, but it was not enough to win him the match.
During the bout, there was much talk about whether or not Clay was given a fair chance against Ali. Many people believed that since Ali was a black man in America during this time period, he should have been given an automatic victory over Clay. Others pointed out that although Clay was white, he too was a world-class athlete who had won Olympic gold medals.
Cassius Clay, a boisterous young man nicknamed as the "Louisville Lip," won the Olympic Gold Medal for boxing in the light heavyweight class on September 5, 1960. He became the first person to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing.
Clay made his debut in the sport at the Rome Olympics, where he was undefeated before being defeated by Soviet boxer Nikolai Volkoff. After the loss, he decided to switch to the light heavyweight division and won his second gold medal four years later in Tokyo.
He is one of only three boxers (along with Joe Louis and John L. Sullivan) to have won both the gold and silver medals at the tournament. The other two boxes en route to becoming world champions: Benny Leonard who won the gold medal at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam and Wilfred Benítez who took the silver behind Harry Greb at the 1936 Berlin Games.
Clay remains the only athlete to have won an Olympic gold medal in boxing and in the same year have also won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division. His victory at the Rome Olympics made him the first man ever to win an Olympic gold medal in two different sports back-to-back years. He repeated this achievement in Tokyo four years later.
Liston was overconfident at the outset of the bout on February 25, 1964, in the Miami Beach Convention Center. Despite his wounded shoulder, he expected an early knockout, like he had in his previous three big fights, and had not spent any time practicing. Cassius Clay, on the other hand, had worked hard and was fully prepared. In fact, he said before the fight that he would win by a TKO (technical knockout) because he could not afford to lose.
During the first round, which lasted only 30 seconds, Clay managed to land several powerful punches, which caused Liston to hold back. When the round was over, both men were exhausted and the scorecard indicated that it was even so far. In the second round, Liston attacked again and this time he landed some heavy blows, but again, they were too late. The referee stopped the fight and declared Clay the winner by technical knockout.
This is the only heavyweight championship lost by retirement. Until 2017, when Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko, this was also the last time a world champion retired from boxing.
Clay's career was saved when New York State Athletic Commission chairman Arthur Donovan refused him a license, based on his name being considered "obscene." As a result, most states banned him from boxing in their territories. However, this law was eventually ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Chuvalo was a Croatian-Canadian heavyweight who was never knocked down in his 93 professional fights. Despite reaching the distance, Ali won this battle to retain the championship. Cooper's sensitive eyes were again crucial in the rematch, when Ali opened up a major cut in the sixth round and the fight was stopped.
TKO-7 vs. Sonny Liston on February 25, 1964. The 22-year-old challenger won the world championship for the first time in his final battle as Cassius Clay. Clay struck tremendous combinations in the sixth round, but Liston was unable to compete in the seventh due to a shoulder injury.
Clay made his professional debut on October 29, 1960, defeating Tunney Hunsaker in six rounds. Clay became 19-0 with 15 knockouts from that point until the end of 1963. In 1964, he lost his first two fights before winning ten straight matches (including a knockout victory over Sonny Liston). His career was derailed when he refused to be drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. He was found guilty of defying the draft and sentenced to five years' probation and a $1,000 fine. After his release in 1971, he returned to boxing and won another twelve fights.
Ali's first fight after being released from prison was on May 25, 1970, when he defeated John Tate by technical knockout in the tenth round. The bout was held at Madison Square Garden to celebrate New York State's ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery. Ali-Tate II took place eight months later and ended in a second-round TKO for Ali. He then went on to win seven more fights before facing Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Championship on January 22, 1975, at Yankee Stadium. Although many people believed Frazier to be the better boxer, Ali won by unanimous decision. This is considered by many critics and fans to be one of the greatest heavyweight battles ever staged live on television.