Some said it was the moon. Others blamed it on the weather, which had turned dismal. But those closest to Sonny Liston knew better: it was Cassius Clay. "I tell you Sonny hates Clay," said one. The champion meant business, and flushed angrily when photographers' flashbulbs popped in his face, shattering his concentration. To penetrate the gloom of Liston's Miami Beach training quarters. Artist Douglas Gorsline executed this multiple-image drawing, in which Liston is shown working harder than he ever did before. The usual hangers-on were banished from the Spartan camp, and the few who remained—among them Liston's trainer. Willie Reddish (in buttoned sweater), his manager, Jack Nilon (below Reddish)—watched in somber silence as Liston sharpened his reflexes on the speed bag, skipped rope and pounded the heavy bag. The one bright spot in the oppressive atmosphere was the vibrantly feminine Mrs. Liston, Geraldine. always present and ready to calm smoldering Sonny, who seemed bent on murder.
Table of Contents
Feb. 24, 1964
Professional tour through June 19
- By Cassius Clay
Everybody is familiar with the public image of the challenger for Sonny Liston's heavyweight title: a loudmouth and braggart who spouts obvious verse. What Clay has seldom let the world see is the sober, ambitious man inside the child's skin. Here, at last, he reveals his true nature, in which zaniness is always a calculated ingredient
- PEOPLE 40