• Short Summary

    Muhammad Ali, also known as Cassius Clay, says he thought he beat Joe Frazier in their world heavyweight championship fight Monday (March 8).

  • Description

    CU Ali lying in bed reading paper.

    MCU Doctor answering reporters.

    CU Ali

    TRANSCRIPT: (SEQ. 3): REPORTER: "Doctor, how important was the layoff?"

    ALI DOCTOR: "Very important. Any time an athlete lays off three and a half years, I don't care whether he's a ping pong champion or a pinochle champion, it's important.

    ALI: "I think I won the fight on points, if you look at the fight for 15 rounds. I think I won a good nine rounds. I know I won nine rounds. But my image is so superior when usually I'm in there, until when a thing is that close it could go either way because its me involved."

    REPORTER: "Ali, how does it feel for the first time in your professional career to have lost?"

    ALI: "I feel you have an obligation to many thousands of fans who are pulling for you, who are crying and they're worrying about you and how you feel. And I think if they can see that you realise that I'm human and I realize that we all have to lose, and life's still going on, then they'll feel stronger. I think a celebrity or any so called great personality has an obligation to fulfil to take defeat like a man so they can take their defeats when they have them. And when a man can come through this after so many years of victory, and been so supreme in his field, and able to have his defeat also victorious, then this makes him a bigger man. I just lost the fight, that's all."

    REPORTER: "You sound almost glad that you finally did lose one."

    ALI: "Not glad, in a way I am. I didn't want to lose, but since I have, you just have to make the best of it. Like a man is in prison for 99 years, he's there and he'll just have to make his world in prison. So same with this. I lost and think I won on points. If you look at Frazier's face and look at mine, there's no comparison. I'm sure I hit three times more than he hit me. And I won at least nine rounds, but with the judges I didn't. But its nothing to cry an complain about. I've always handed out defeats, and now I'm defeated and see how the others felt. And when I do come back, if I ever do, I'll have more of a hungry determination, which is something you loose in the intoxication of so called greatness, and the intoxication of when I was victorious, you soon come to a point when you let your guard down."

    REPORTER: "Is he a great fighter?"

    ALI: "He's not a great boxer. He's not a boxer. He is a great slugger, a great street fighter, a bull fighter. Takes a lot of punches, eyes closed and just keeps coming."

    REPORTER: "As you look ahead to your own personal future? What do you see for you and your family?."

    ALI: "Right now, I just want to go to Cherry Hill, New Jersey and landscape my yard. I just bought a nice home there with two acres around it, Spanish hacienda house, fine chandeliers for it, velvet on my walls, carpet the floors, and panelling the basement. I just have a lot of work to do and I just want to go home and rest and forget about all the cameras, all the people, and just live an everyday life."

    Initials CO.19.09 JL/BH/CO.19.16


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Muhammad Ali, also known as Cassius Clay, says he thought he beat Joe Frazier in their world heavyweight championship fight Monday (March 8). Speaking to reporters yesterday (Tuesday), Ali said he won a least nine of the 15 rounds. Of Frazier, Ali said he was not a boxer, but a great slugger. Earlier, Ali's doctor said that the three and a half year lay off for Ali was very important.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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