Sonny Liston vs. Cassius Clay (1st meeting)

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1964-02-25  : Convention  Hall, Miami Beach,  FL, USA  : Sonny Liston  lost to Cassius Clay by RTD in round 7 of 15

  • World Heavyweight Title
  • Referee: Barney Felix
  • Scoring at time of stoppage: Felix 57-57, Bernie Lovett 58-56 (Liston), Gus Jacobson 58-56 (Clay)
  • Weights: Clay 210½ (95 kg), Liston 218 (98 kg)

  • Liston was 7-1 favorite to win.
  • Liston refused to come out for Round 7, citing an injured left shoulder.
  • After the fight, Clay changed his name to Cassius X and then to Muhammad Ali.
  • Named Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.
  • Proclaimed the "Fight and Upset of the Decade" (1960s) by The Ring magazine.


  • "He’s too ugly to be the world’s champ! The world’s champ should be pretty like me!" Ali's comment about Liston in pre-fight interview
  • "Round eight to prove I’m great!" Ali's prediction before the fight
  • "Eat your words! Eat your words! I am the greatest." Ali shouting at reporters after the fight