Feb. 4, 1964 - Trainer Angelo Dundee (left) was asked today what happened to the plan to silence Cassius Clay. “Clay’s always talked,” Angelo replied. “You’d have to cut off his oxygen to make him stop.”
Dundee recalled his first meeting with Cassius. It was in 1958 in Louisville, where Dundee was to handle Willie Pastrano, now light heavyweight champion, in a fight. “This fellow calls my hotel room and says, ‘Hello, this is Cassius Clay. I’m going to be the next Olympic heavyweight champion, and I want to talk to you.’ I don’t know what I’m getting into, so I said come up. Two hours later, Clay had quit talking. He must’ve asked a million questions — how my fighters did road work, how far they ran, their diets, their training. I’ll tell you about the kid, he finds out things. Once, Pastrano was training here for a fight with Johnny Holman, so Clay works at the gym with Pastrano and then he goes and works with Holman.”
Angelo is mild-mannered and tolerant of reporters, no matter the questions. But he flared up when asked today how many rounds he thinks Clay will last. “Have you seen Liston working?” he counter-questioned. “He’s not doing too much. And I’ve brought in another big guy to work with Clay — Dave Bailey from Philadelphia. He’s strong, six feet, weights 215. I want Cassius to work against strong guys. But to answer your question, I think Clay will last much longer than people think. I believe he’ll knock Liston out in 11 or 12 rounds.”
A number of reporters failed to suppress smiles at this prediction. The expert class believes Clay will last longer than Floyd Patterson did in his two tangles with Sonny — but not much longer. Floyd was knocked out by Liston in the first round of each of his title bouts with Liston.