Saturday Night- July 22, 1961
Cassius Clay 7-0-0 (5 KO's) vs Alonzo Johnson 18-7-0 (6 KO's)
20 year-old (20 years, 6 months) Cassius Clay, escaped with a
'questionable' 10-Round Unanimous Decision over one-time prospect
and now 'trial-horse' 26 1/2 year-old Alonzo Johnson.
Many of the 6000 in attendance at the Freedom Hall State Fairgrounds
in Louisville, had switched from cheering on the hometown boy, to favoring
the visiting opponent.
The undefeated Cassius Clay, at 6' 3" and 192 lbs., was unable to
score with any heavy blows, and spent most of the 10-Rounds moving
backwards versus a fighter who by all accounts, is a light-hitter with
The 1960 Olympic Gold Medal Winner looked completely indifferent in the
early rounds, as the 6' 0" 189 lb. Alonzo Johnson was the aggressor,
and the one making the fight. It appeared to many neutral observers at
ringside, that Cassius was running away from a fight.
In one early exchange, after getting tagged by a light left hook, Cassius
ducked and ran away, leading some at ringside to call him 'Cassius the Coward'.
Kentucky Sports Journalist, Red Dillon - 'Just like some of the race horses that
are supposed to be unbeatable, but end up being also rans. Cassius turned out
to be a 100% pure bred Kentucky Flop'.