Company director, London
In the first of our two fights, I hit Clay with a genuine left hook with all my power behind it. He fell on the ropes and slid gently to the canvas. There was a count of five, and the bell went.
There was panic in his corner. Suddenly they found Clay had a split glove. By the time the referee had been called over and they tried to find a spare pair of gloves, easily half to three-quarters of a minute had gone by. Half a minute to a fit guy is a lifetime.
They started the fifth round with Clay wearing the split glove. With the second or third punch he caught me in the eye and it started to gush blood. If he had wrapped sandpaper around his gloves, he couldn't have done better with an eye like mine.
He told me later, "You're not as dumb as you look. I have never been hit so hard in my life." Afterward he always admitted that it was the finest punch that ever hit him.
Of the great fighters he was definitely one of the top five. Not the greatest, but surely right up there with the Dempseys and Marcianos.
Truck loader, Grand Rapids, Mich.
I thought he was a terrific person, the biggest b.s. artist in the whole world. He kept saying, "I'm gonna do to Buster what the Indians did to Custer." That was O.K., he was just drumming up publicity and boosting the ticket sales. He kept telling me how he was going to beat me. He kept chastising me; it does play on your mind.
I fought the hell out of him. He had me down in the 11th and 12th rounds. He hit me with some good shots, but he's not a great puncher,-he didn't hurt me. Joe Frazier was the hardest puncher I ever met. Joe could hit you on your big toe and knock you out. After the fight Ali told me not to quit, because I was a good fighter, the fastest he ever fought.
But now I try to stay away from boxing because it bothers me. I "almost" went to the Olympics, but I was injured. I was "almost" world heavyweight champion. Those things still haunt me. I guess it's all water under the bridge. I have come a long way from where I started from. I was from a poor family. I was marked for prison. I'm pretty proud of myself.