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Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Banks at the Garden

Feb. 11, 1962 - Cassius Marcellus Clay punched with crisp efficiency last night and dispatched Sonny Banks of Detroit in a nationally televised heavyweight bout at Madison Square Garden. Just as the undefeated Clay had predicted, the end came in the fourth round of the scheduled 10-round contest. However, just before Referee Ruby Goldstein halted the match after 26 seconds of the fourth, Banks recorded a signal achievement. He sent his 20-year-old rival to the canvas for the first time in Clay’s brief career. Actually, Clay delivered little or no punishment in the fourth round. There was no need. He had knocked all the fight out of his opponent during a furious assault in round three. Banks still had not regained possession of his faculties or control of his legs when the fourth round opened. Goldstein stepped between the fighters before Clay could resume his attack, while the 21-year-old Banks was stumbling about the ring with a tell-tale glaze in each eye. Tonight’s triumph was Clay’s eleventh. The young man thus kept pace with the ambitious timetable he expects will carry him to the world championship by 1963.


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