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BY Francis Akhalbey, 11:48am February 25, 2019,

Watch Muhammad Ali’s historic fight against Sonny Liston in 1964

The first Ali - Liston fight in 1964 -- Photo via BBC

“I shook up the world! I’m the greatest thing that ever lived. I don’t have a mark on my face, and I upset Sonny Liston, and I just turned 22 years old. I must be the greatest! I showed the world! I talk to God every day! I’m the king of the world!,” those were the words of the underdog Muhammad Ali after he defeated Sonny Liston.

Then known as Cassius Clay, Ali’s first fight with Sonny Liston, who was the World Heavyweight Champion at the time took place at the Miami Beach Convention Hall on February 25, 1964.

Going into the fight as the underdog, 22-year-old Ali, who many saw as not having a chance against the more ferocious Liston vowed to prove his doubters wrong.

It was during the lead up to this highly anticipated fight that Ali coined one of his most famous quotes: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can’t hit what the eyes can’t see.”

Though Ali unexpectedly dominated the fight and eventually won by a seventh round technical knockout, there were some controversial moments. Notable among them was Ali complaining of burning eyes in the fourth and fifth rounds. This almost cost him the fight but he managed to shake it off and continue.

Take a look at the fight below:

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: February 26, 2019


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