Sports of The Times: As Butterfly or as a Bee, Muhammad Ali Always Made an Impression

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Muhammad Ali while training for his second fight against Sonny Liston in 1965. Ali, known as Cassius Clay in the first fight, beat Liston twice.

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Associated Press

At first, he was just a commotion, far down State Street.

Muhammad Ali was usually a commotion in those days.

Then he materialized, followed by a raggle-taggle army, Muhammad Ali’s irregulars, your basic rainbow coalition of the late 1960s, falling in step behind him, chanting: “Muhammad Ali is our champ! Muhammad Ali is our champ!”

This was Chicago, circa 1968, while Ali was suspended for refusing to enter the military draft, uttering the famous line, “I ain’t got no quarrel against them Viet Cong.”

I…

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