Interview with Edwin Pope

Let's jump ahead in time now to the month before, ah, then Cassius Clay. I think it was 1964, he was about to fight Sonny Liston here in Miami. What did you think of this fighter as contrasted with someone like Joe Louis? Ah, tell me about it.


Oh, I think I probably was a lot like, ah, most of the other writers, not of many of whom are still around, but most of them were a lot older than I was and they really didn't take, ah, Cassius Clay very seriously. This was before, ah, Cassius Clay became officially Muhammad Ali and they thought he was just a loud mouth, just a braggart who had won the Olympic title, but that he wasn't nearly ready to take on a person like Sonny Liston. I believe that most of the writers felt that Cassius Clay would be champion some day but very few of them had any idea that he would beat Sonny Liston February 25th, 1964. I remember they took a newspaper poll of 46 writers and only 3 picked Clay-Ali and one of those just did it for a gag. So that's how little people thought of Clay-Ali. Ah, one of the odd things about that fight in 1964 was that none of us really knew what to call, ah, Cassius. You didn't know whether to call him Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali, or what.


Let's stop down a second