Interview with Angelo Dundee
QUESTION 3
LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, when do you first realize that Cassius Clay might have had some associations with the Muslims?

ANGELO DUNDEE:

Oh, I knew that, ah, two weeks before the fight.

LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, now, that's an example.

ANGELO DUNDEE:

I knew about, ah, Muhammad's association with the Muslims about two weeks before the fight. I didn't know anything about, you know, in fact, ah, ah, Cassius Marcellus Clay, ah, they came to me, the promoter, Jim McDonald, and my brother was associated with the, with the promotion. And he came to me, he says, "Angelo, unless Cassius Marcellus Clay refutes the reports out of Chicago that he's not a Muslim, I'm going to cancel the fight." So, I said, "Well, geeze, I'll talk to the kid." And I said, "Better still," I said, "you go talk to the kid." And I made him go off into another area and speak to the fighter. So, Cassius came back and I'm sitting in the office and he says, "Ange, I don't think I'm going to have a fight." I said, "Why?" He said, "Well because they want me to say I'm not a Muslim and I am a Muslim."** "Marvelous, whatever you want to do, you do Muhammad. I mean it's up to you." Cassius then, you know, because what the heck, what's in a name? The thing with me was the individual. But the, the tough, tough thing about it really was that it was such a pretty name. We had nutured it and played it up, you know, Cassius Marcellus Clay and we used to rhyme on it. It was a beautiful name. And then he chaned it to Muhammad Ali. People resented that. You know why? Why? A lot of people wouldn't call him. But what's in a name? To me, he was still the same individual, same guy and I actually, I didn't know what a Muslim was, really. Because I thought it was a piece of cloth** and I, I, I mean that with all my heart. What the heck's the difference what a guy, religion is? That doesn't project to me what an individual is. What the heck, I was, I hoped later on, I said this, "I hope I was as good a Catholic as Muhammad was Muslim."