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© Charles Trainor, 1964
Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) spars with kids in the backyard of house where he stayed as he prepared for the Sonny Liston fight in Miami. In 1964 African Americans were not allowed to stay in hotels on Miami Beach where the Fifth Street Gym is located. Clay resided in a small home in central Miami. He got the title shot in 1964, in Miami, against Liston, who was said to be unbeatable. To the world's surprise, at the age of 22, Cassius Clay did beat Sonny Liston and became the World Heavyweight Champion. They went seven rounds in the ring together with Clay dominating the whole time and in the end Clay takes the heavyweight championship for the first time. Instead of going to a big party at a luxury downtown hotel, Cassius Clay went back to a black motel, in the black area of Miami - at that time a segregated city - and had a quiet evening with friends, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, the great gospel and R&B singer, and Jim Brown, a famous US football player who later became an actor. Later that night Clay announced that he changed his religion to Muslim and he changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Silver Gelatin Print available at additional cost.