Muhammad Ali vs. Duke Sabedong
Muhammad Ali 194 lbs beat Duke Sabedong 225 lbs by UD in round 10 of 10
- Date: 1961-06-26
- Location: Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Referee: Harold Krause 50-34
- Judge: John Romero 50-38
- Judge: Dick Kanellis 49-43
In June 1961, Muhammad Ali, with matchmaker Mel "Red" Greb at his side, gave a local radio interview in hopes of drumming up interest for his seventh professional fight -- his first in Las Vegas.
Ali, then known as Cassius Clay and yet to develop the charismatic style that bolstered his legendary status as three-time world heavyweight champion, was to fight Duke Sabedong at the old Convention Center.
The night before that 10-round boxing match was a professional wrestling card, which would draw a sell-out crowd at the same site. However, despite Greb's promotional efforts, Ali's Las Vegas debut would be before a half-empty house.
"Muhammad watched in awe as wrestler Gorgeous George, who was on the same radio show, boasted that he would win his match because he was the prettiest wrestler," said Gene Kilroy, a longtime Ali aide.
"Muhammad asked Mel to take him to the wrestling matches so he could watch more of George in action, which Mel did. After Muhammad's first Las Vegas fight, he told reporters he won because he was the prettiest fighter -- that's where all of that started." - Las Vegas Sun