Egypt's first king since Farouk looked around last week for threats to his throne. Royally mounted and royally confident, the Pride of Islam saw only pretenders. "If Sonny even dreamed to fight me, he has to apologize," decreed Muhammad Ali. "Patterson has no chance. I'll knock him out and convert him to Islam." The irrepressible heavyweight champion bounced from monument to mosque all week, keeping his Egyptian hosts off-balance, winded and slightly bored.
Back in Denver, Sonny Liston, doing more than dreaming, was working hard to regain his championships in both prizefighting and the acquisition of police summonses. He ran and punched the bag—and last week got hit with a $16 fine for speeding. His manager, Jack Nilon, said he thought the World Boxing Association would sanitize Sonny within weeks, and that a rematch with Clay could be scheduled for autumn. Meantime Clay's Louisville mentors were trying to locate Cassius in the desert to correct his mistaken idea that he could not fight again this year because of taxes. "Under the new tax setup," Clay's lawyer explained, "it is to his advantage to fight again in 1964. We can prorate his earnings back to 1960, a low-income year."
If Cassius insists on avoiding Sonny for the time being, his 1964 opponent may be the winner of the Floyd Patterson-Eddie Machen fight in Sweden next month, though there are rumors that ex-Champion Ingo Johansson will be stood up, dusted off and sent back into action. In any case, the supposedly lifeless horizon is suddenly cluttered with challengers. King, be ready.