Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The way we were...Cassius Clay buys a gun

Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) spars with kids in the backyard 
of house in Miami where he stayed as he prepared for 
the Sonny Liston fight in 1964. 
Photograph by Charles Trainor (1964)


Miami News, Oct. 1, 1964.
(Click to enlarge.)


In October 1964 the Miami News learned that heavyweight boxing champ Cassius Clay had bought a gun, a 50-year-old, gold-plated Colt derringer.

"[He] bought it at Lenny's Pawn Shop, 901 NW 2nd Ave. two weeks ago, police revealed....

"He wanted 15 bucks for it," Cassius recalled. "I knocked him down to $5."

Clay told the shop owner he needed the gun for "home protection." (Newspaper writers of the day continued to use the name Cassius Clay despite the fact that the boxing champ had changed his name to Muhammad Ali after beating Sonny Liston in Feb. 1964 in Miami Beach.)

"I'm a great celebrity and people try now and again to break into my house." (Reporter Ian Glass thoughtfully included Clay's address in his story.)

"Heck, Elizabeth is only the Queen of England, Lyndon Johnson is only the President of the United States, but I'm king of the world," the News quoted Clay as saying.


March 25, 1965: Cassius Clay - the humble man

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