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Clay Makes Loud Landing In Vegas, Gives Floyd No Chance Against Liston

July 18, 1963 - Undefeated heavyweight Cassius Clay made a loud landing in Las Vegas today and immediately delivered his forecast for next Monday night’s heavyweight title rematch between champion Sonny Liston and Floyd Patterson. “If Floyd even dreamed he won the fight, he better apologize,” spouted Clay. He then moved on to his favorite topic: himself. He stated that he would soon become champion, hold the title for 10 years, and then give it to his younger brother, Rudolph. “Like the Kennedys do in Washington,” Cassius explained. He then elaborated somewhat on his prediction, saying Liston would win Monday “not because he is that good — that big ugly man — but because Patterson is so modest, like a little mouse. He’s never been much of a fighter. He’s not as smart or as pretty as me.” Clay then attended Liston’s public workout. When Nat Fleischer of Ring magazine formally presented Liston with his championship belt, Cassius couldn’t stand it. “That’s my belt!” he yelled from the back of the room. “This is going to be your only belt,” Liston scowled, waving his massive right fist in the 106-degree air. When reminded of his knockdown last month against England’s Henry Cooper, Clay admitted, “I fight just as hard as I have to. That’s the same way I train. When I fought Archie Moore, I got myself a couple of 90-year-old sparring mates. For Liston, I’m going to the zoo and hire a couple of bears.”


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