Cassius Clay AKA Muhammad Ali’s Amateur Boxing Record in Question?
Ken Hissner (March 18, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
There have been at least 4 records accredited to Cassius Clay aka Muhammad Ali’s overall amateur record. 134-7, 137-7, 100-5 and 99-8 have been mentioned. Since this writer came up with 8 losses the 99-8 could be closer than any. I want to thank Henry Hascup, President of the New Jersey VBA, who sent me Clay/Ali’s record.

Ali had his first amateur bout on November 12, 1954 defeating Ronnie O’Keefe in Louisville. His first loss was to James Davis on February 4, 1955 in the Louisville 118# Novice GG tournament at age 13. Three of his opponents he had beaten only to lose to them in their second meeting. The first was John Hampton on July 28, 1955 after defeating Hampton a week earlier, both in Louisville.

The next loss was on July 6, 1957 losing to Donnie Hall after having defeated him the month before and the month after. He repeated with wins in October and November all in Louisville. Hall would turn professional in 1959 winning his first 3 fights before losing and retiring. On September 7th Clay/Ali was stopped in the 1st round on a cut eye by Terry Hodge in Louisville. The following month he lost his rematch to Jimmy Ellis by split decision on October 12th. He had defeated Ellis on August 30th. Ellis would win the WBA heavyweight title in a round robin tournament in 1968. He would lose to Ali in 1971 in a NABF title bout.

In 1958 he was stopped by technical decision in the 2nd round to Kent Green in the Chicago Tournament of Champions. Green turned professional in 1959 winning his first 7 fights including a win over Amos Johnson. He ended his career 13-2 in 1969. In 1959 during the Pan Am Games Trials Clay/Ali won 3 out of 4 losing to southpaw Amos Johnson by split decision in Louisville. Johnson was in the Marine Corp and from Medina, Ohio. He turned professional in 1959 after the Games suffering his first loss in his fourth fight to Kent Green. Other Clay/Ali professional opponents he fought were drawing with Karl Mildenberger in Germany, defeating Henry Cooper in the UK while losing to Brian London there. He was stopped by Sonny Liston in Sweden and lost to Oscar Bonavena in Argentina ending up with a 24-9-2 record.

Clay/Ali won the light heavyweight AAU national tournaments in 1959 and 1960 in Toledo. Prior to the Olympic trials in San Francisco in 1960 he faced Percy Price of the Marine Corp out of Philadelphia to see if he could win a spot as a heavyweight. He lost to Price but went into the light heavyweight trials to earn a spot on the Olympic team. Eddie Crook lost to Wilbert “Skeeter” McClure at 156 but made the team at 165. Clay/Ali, Crook and McClure all won Gold medals in Rome while Price brought home a Bronze medal. Price of the Marine Corp and Crook of the Army never turned professional but made careers in the military. McClure turned professional and had a 24-8-1 record. Clay/Ali turned professional in October of 1960 recording a 56-5 record winning the heavyweight title three times.

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