This video segment is a part of HBO’s Boxing’s Best series….which highlights the careers of the greatest boxers of all time…..with this one being on The Greatest Muhammad Ali….as Barry Tompkins of HBO and Joe Martin, a Louisville police officer who taught boxing at the Louisville Boxing Gym tell the story of a young Cassius Clay…..who showed up at the boxing gym with an attitude because someone had stolen his bicycle.
These two men then take a journey back in time to when Clay qualified for the US Olympic Boxing Team to go to Rome, Italy for the 1960 Olympic Games….to which Clay decided he was not going to go because of his fear of flying…..but Mr. Martin took him for a stroll along the Ohio River that ran through Louisville….and convinced the young Clay to go. In Rome, the 178 lb. Clay took the Olympic gold with dramatic defeats of all of his opponents…..especially Zbigniew Pietrzkowski of Poland….whom he literally destroyed in the Olympic ring.
Following Clay’s Olympic success….this video gives the viewer an inside look at the course that Cassius Clay took as he turned professional to battle the like of Tony Hunsaker in his debut….as Clay signed a 6 year multi-million dollar contract with ten (10) Louisville millionaires where his investors received 50% of what Clay earned. In Clay’s 16th fight….he took on Archie Moore….whom he had declared prior to the fight that “Moore would go in 4″….which he did….as Clay KO’d the former light heavyweight champion in the 4th round.
It was after the Moore fight that Clay started really talking…..as he became the “Mouth of the South”….while talking his way to a shot at the heavyweight title held by Champ Sonny Liston.