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Cassius Clay Knocks Out Lavorante in Los Angeles

July 20, 1962 - Cassius Clay, an undefeated heavyweight from Louisville, knocked out Alejandro Lavorante of Argentina in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round fight tonight in Los Angeles, fulfilling his prediction to the round. Clay weighed 199 pounds, Lavorante 208. The 20-year-old Clay ended the fiery bout at 1:48 of the fifth, when he floored the towering Argentine twice. It was the 15th straight victory for Clay and his 12th knockout. Lavorante had trained for more than a month and was in the finest shape of his career. But he did not have the speed or craft to cope with Cassius, the new flying tiger of the heavyweight division. Afterward, Clay was in high spirits and, as usual, had plenty to say. “I’m still gonna be the youngest heavyweight champ in history,” the 20-year-old fighter said. “But I’ve gotta do it before my 22nd birthday, and I figure I’m well ahead of schedule.” Asked who he wants next, Clay shouted: “Give me Floyd, Liston, Johansson, anybody you want, I’ll be ‘em all. They’re all old men to me.”

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