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A Lot More Than Lip Service
Richard Hoffer
November 29, 1999
FEBRUARY 25, 1964: CASSIUS CLAY BEATS SONNY LISTON
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November 29, 1999

A Lot More Than Lip Service

FEBRUARY 25, 1964: CASSIUS CLAY BEATS SONNY LISTON

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His charm is as bound up with his grace and fearlessness in the ring as with his prankish bravado outside it. It has lasted so long that we rarely stop to think about it anymore. Similarly, it's no longer easy to measure his impact on our culture, because that impact has taken so many forms over the years. But if an antic and half-hysterical Cassius Clay hadn't beaten Liston that night in 1964, we all might have been just a little slower in developing our own taste for bedlam—or for change, anyway.

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