He caught me in
the eighth round as I was turning off the ropes. It was a combination on the
button. I thought, "Son of a gun! He caught me. Off-balance and going down!
From a cat that can't even punch!" I spun around and my hands were on the
God dawg! I was
down! My ego was hurt and I was embarrassed. But my brain was clear. I figured,
"Well, now, this is my chance. I've been trying to get that monkey into an
exchange all night, and he's scared to do it. Now he'll be coming in to try to
cool me, and all I need is to hit him one time." I looked at my corner, at
Dick Sadler, my manager. I could hear the count. One...two.... Sadler motioned
for me to stay down. I heard...seven, eight and Sadler said to get up. I did,
and there was a lot of commotion in the ring. I thought the bell must have
rung. I walked to my corner and found out that the fight was all over.
The next day I
asked Sadler how come he had told me to stay down.
looking at the fight," he said.
"You told me
to stay down."
hear the count."
doing so good, anyhow," he said.
As the champion
of the world, I deserved every right to get up. They let Joe Frazier get up in
Jamaica and showed him every consideration as the champion. But my own manager
tells me he couldn't hear the count.
thought I was bad off, you should have thrown in the towel," I said.
"Don't let me take no knockout on no floor like that."