Cassius Clay vs Sonny Banks
Cassius Clay, the 1960 Olympic light heavyweight gold medalist, entered the fight ranked ninth as a heavyweight by The Ring magazine.
Sonny Banks, a 21-year-old unknown from Detroit, surprised the cocky Clay and the slim crowd of about 2,000 in Madison Square Garden when he dropped the Louisville favorite on the seat of his pants in the first round. Clay jumped up at the count of two and was given the mandatory eight count.
Clay, a 5 to 1 favorite, was more surprised than hurt by the fast left hook. Banks, fighting out of a crouch, had displayed the wicked hook earlier in the first round when he landed a few to the body.
In the second round, Clay went to work on his rival. Cassius fired a stream of left-right combinations, thrown with the speed of a lightweight, at Banks' head. A left hook to the chin dropped Banks on his seat. He jumped up at two and was given the mandatory eight count. But he was still hurt and just managed to get through the round.
In the third, Clay bombed his weakening foe all over the ring. He twice sent him staggering against the ropes but couldn't drop him. At the finish of the round, Banks staggered to his corner. Dr. Alexander Schiff took a look at him between rounds and then advised referee Ruby Goldstein to watch Banks closely.
Goldstein stopped the fight at 26 seconds of the fourth round, saving the wobbly Banks from further punishment.
"That was my first time knocked down as a professional. I had to get up to take care of things after that because it was rather embarrassing, me on the floor. As you know, I think that I'm the greatest and I'm not supposed to be on the floor, so I had to get up and put him on out, in four as I predicted." - Cassius Clay after the fight.
Here is a link to the fight video.