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Clay Outlasts Jones in Closely Fought Victory at MSG

Mar. 13, 1963 - Although he failed to knock out his opponent as predicted, Cassius Marcellus Clay remained boxing’s most discussed heavyweight following his 10-round victory over Doug Jones tonight. The 21-year-old Louisville boxer received the unanimous verdict of the officials at Madison Square Garden along with sustained booing from the capacity crowd of 18,732. It was an unpopular decision. “Jones came here as fat as a hen, but he tricked me and lasted to ten,” rhymed Clay after the fight. Clay had boasted he would knock out the 26-year-old New Yorker in the fourth round. Instead, Clay had to rally in the last 3 rounds to register his 18th professional triumph in 18 fights. The crowd thought differently. When the result was announced, the spectators chanted in unison, “fix, fix, fix,” and “fake, fake, fake.” It wasn’t the kind of poetry Clay enjoys. Jones started the fight with such a spirited rush that he staggered Clay in the opening two minutes. With two rights and a left to the head, Jones had Clay reeling off the ropes and the crowd in an uproar. Clay had been warned of the effectiveness of Jones’s right hand and the New Yorker scored with this weapon repeatedly. Clay’s inability to get his left uppercut working worried his corner. When he failed to make good his threat to knock out Jones in the fourth, the crowd cheered. It wasn’t until the last three rounds that Clay’s speed, footwork, and timing were coordinated. Then, in flurries, he pounded away with both hands to Jones’s body and head. After the fight, he predicted he would beat Jones “in eight” if they met again.


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