For boasting of his greatness

And being quick with a quip,

Cocky young Cassius Clay was

Labeled the “Louisville Lip.”

Reporters dismissed his talk 

As him being brash and bold,

But he had bolstered his boasts

By winning Olympic gold.

Unbeaten as a pro by 

Nineteen hundred sixty-four, 

His nineteen wins included

Boxing legend Archie Moore.

Now, Cassius called out the champ,

He shouted, “Bring on Sonny!

I will whup that ugly bear,

And make me lots of money.”

But the experts all claimed that

Sonny was too big and bad,

They shuddered to consider

What he would do to the lad.    

And so, his big title fight 

With the champ Liston was set.

It would be a fight they claimed 

Big-mouth Clay would soon regret.

On fight night, an anxious crowd

Arrived, expecting a brawl

With the champion Liston’s hand

Raised at the end of it all.

Instead, the crowd did witness 

A kid who could move and stick,

Possessing both hands and feet 

Amazingly cat-like quick.

The plodding champ’s mighty blows

Were striking nothing but air.

For each time he unloaded,

The quicker Clay was not there.

The challenger’s return fire 

Repeatedly found its mark 

As the champ flailed aimlessly, 

Like a man lost in the dark.

At the bell to start seven,

When Liston did not come out,

Clay was declared the winner

Of his first championship bout.

When informed of the outcome,

Cassius jumped around the ring

As he shouted to the world, 

“I am the heavyweight king!”