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Cassius Clay to Fight Sonny Banks for Garden Debut

Feb. 5, 1962 - Cassius Clay (right), an undefeated heavyweight from Louisville, has been chosen to fight Sonny Banks (left) of Detroit in a substitute ten-rounder at Madison Square Garden Saturday night. Clay eagerly accepted the bout. “I’ll fight anybody from Floyd Patterson [the world champion] down to Sonny Liston or from Sonny Liston up,” he said today. Liston is regarded as the No. 1 challenger for Patterson’s crown. The 20-year-old Clay has scored seven knockouts in his ten engagements. He and Banks will be making their debuts at the Garden. The Clay-Banks bout replaces the originally scheduled clash between Cleveland Williams and Eddie Machen. Banks has won ten of his twelve fights, nine by knockout. Said Banks today: “I can beat any heavyweight in the top ten except the first four.” Sonny was referring to Patterson, Liston, Machen, and Ingemar Johansson.

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