Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay the defrocked heavyweight boxing champion of the World, was floored by his sparring partner in a Miami gymnasium on Monday (October 12th) during preparations for his forthcoming fight with Californian heavyweight Jerry Quarry -- a contender for the World title.
SV Blue Louis punching Cassius Clay to ropes during sparring.
CU Blue Louis punching
MV Clay rises off floor after being knocked down.
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 5):
ALI: Well, there's no time to smile now. Everything is serious. I have 16 years of fighting invested in this and I was caught off guard with a six week notice which is something if you gave Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries, Gene Tunney, the great Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott -- if you let them lay off just one year and gave them a six week notice they would say you were crazy. ??? went to mountains for four or five months before fighting. I've been off three and one half years' 35 pounds overweight, and get a six week notice - so there's no time for joking, playing, or clowning. This is all strict, serious business -- winner take all. And when that bell rings the world will be waiting -- the world, every country on this planet will actually be waiting for the outcome and I'm sure that if Quarry can win he'll be a great, great, great hero. So there's too much involved to be laughing and playing."
INTERVIEWER: How do you regard yourself now, Cassius - still as the greatest?
ALI: No, I don't say that no more. I don't brag no more.
INTERVIEWER: Do you still like to be called Champ?
ALI: I don't care what they say, you know. Makes no difference to me really. I don't worry about what they call me, you know.
INTERVIEWER: Do you regard Frazier as the true champion?
ALI: Not now that I'm fighting, no.
INTERVIEWER: It's really for you like coming out of retirement, isn't it?
ALI: Right. Frazier's a good boxer but I don't rank him with me.
Initials WLW/JF/BJ/1712 WLW/JF/BJ/1719
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Background: Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay the defrocked heavyweight boxing champion of the World, was floored by his sparring partner in a Miami gymnasium on Monday (October 12th) during preparations for his forthcoming fight with Californian heavyweight Jerry Quarry -- a contender for the World title.
The man who can now claim to have put Muhammad Ali on the canvas -- and there are few of them around -- is heavyweight Blue Louis, one of Muhammad Ali's sparring partners at Miami's Fifth Street Gymnasium, where the ex-champ is preparing to fight Jerry Quarry in a possible come-back to the world title.
The fight will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, over three years after Muhammad Ali was deprived of his title for refusing call-up to the United States Armed Forces.
There have been various attempts to get him a place to fight, but all had previously failed.
Visibly quieter than the days when he was unconquered master of the boxing world, Muhammad Ali told an interviewer it was difficult to fight again after a three-year lay-off -- especially with only six week's notice.