The Beatles meet Cassius Clay

On this day The Beatles were taken to the training camp of boxer Cassius Clay – later known as Muhammad Ali – who was preparing for his 25 February fight against heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.

The Beatles with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), 18 February 1964

Obviously we were having an effect, because all these people were clamouring to meet us – like Muhammad Ali, for instance. We were taken to meet him on that first trip. It was a big publicity thing. It was all part of being a Beatle, really; just getting lugged around and thrust into rooms full of press men taking pictures and asking questions. Muhammad Ali was quite cute, he had a fight coming up in a couple of days with Sonny Liston. There is a famous picture of him holding two of us under each arm.

The Beatles with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), 18 February 1964

The meeting took place at Miami’s Fifth Street gym.

I sparred with Cassius Clay, as he was called then – I taught him everything he knew. That was a thrill, of course, and I was putting my money on Liston, so I really knew what was happening!

In the evening The Beatles went to a drive-in movie, where they watched Elvis Presley in Fun In Acapulco.

Last updated: 12 February 2019
Day off in Miami
Travel: Miami to New York to London
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