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A Total Eclipse of the Sonny: The Night 'The Greatest' Was Born

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Rumble in the Jungle. A lot has been written about that fight. Movies have been made about it. People have wept and torn their hair and rolled in the grass, beating their heels against the ground, because of that fight. It was a mighty fight. A remarkable moment. Rightly…

Pain And Violence As A Way Of Life: Muhammad Ali-George Chuvalo II

Leonard Gardner is the author of one of the finest sports novels ever written, Fat City, a masterpiece of the terse style that is, in the words of Denis Johnson, “so precisely written and giving such value to its words that I felt I could almost read it with my fingers, like Braille.” Gardner also wrote the…

For Some Stupid Reason, Everyone Was Shocked When Clay Beat Liston

Fifty years ago tomorrow, in Miami Beach, 22-year-old Cassius Clay beat the hell out of Sonny Liston and took the world heavyweight crown from the Big Bear. According to the great New York Times sportswriter Robert Lipsyte, "only three of 46 sportswriters covering the fight had picked Clay to win." And who can blame…