Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Time Muhammad Ali's Hero Turned Him Into A Dish Washer

In the video above, you will see a young Muhammad Ali, still Cassius Clay then, beating the brakes off Archie Moore in 1962. Moore was 48 years old at the time, and was once the fighter Ali admired above all others. That changed the year before this bout, though, when Ali finally got a chance to train with Moore.


From Jack Murphy's 1961 New Yorker profile of Moore, which we republished yesterday:

Moore usually has two or three rookie fighters on tap at his training camp, and for a brief period the cast included a distinguished young man named Cassius Marcellus Clay, who, having made a reputation by winning the Olympic light-heavyweight championship in Rome the summer before last, had decided to learn what he could at the feet of the Master. Accompanied by a woman lawyer, Clay flew to San Diego last fall and announced that since he planned to turn professional, he was going to spend at least a month studying under Archie Moore at the Salt Mine. Clay said he admired the Mongoose more than any other fighter in the world and would gladly do anything asked of him—that no sacrifice would be too great, no chore too mean or small. He devoutly hoped that Moore would become his manager. It sounded like an ideal arrangement, but within two weeks Clay had turned in his blue coveralls and left, saying, "I wanted Archie to teach me to fight, but the only thing l learned was how to wash dishes. Whoever heard of a fighter with dishpan hands?" Clay is now fighting under other management and remains unbeaten after eight bouts. He is considered a long-range threat to Floyd Patterson.

In 1965, 18 months after becoming heavyweight champion, Ali would dominate Patterson in a 12-round fight that ended in a technical knockout.

Now, go and read the rest of Murphy's profile of Moore, which is reprinted in full below.