Muhammad Ali and The Beatles were perhaps the biggest names and pioneers in their respective fields of boxing and music entertainment. Here's a look back at the time when the entertainment bigwigs crossed paths with each other.
It was in February 1964 when the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century were introduced to each other. The Beatles, who were in town to film their sophomore appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, were introduced to the 22-year-old boxer.
The fledgling Muhammad Ali, Cassius Clay at the time, was on a collision course with heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Ali was hard at work, preparing for the biggest fight of his life at that point in his career at Miami Beach's 5th Street Gym.
Ali, who was hurtling towards the fight as the underdog, hoped to drum up some media attention and bolster ticket sales for his upcoming fight by interacting with the most popular musical maestros in the world.
The Beatles were escorted into the gym where they finally met the eventual heavyweight champion of the world for a photo op. and a series of hilarious interactions, one of which saw them share the ring with the boxing ace.
Check out footage of their interaction below:
It is interesting to note that the founder of the popular band, John Lennon, snubbed Muhammad Ali as a loudmouthed and brash youngster who was destined to suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of the dominant Sonny Liston.
How did Muhammad Ali fare against Sonny Liston?
The fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston was the first time Ali laid claim to the heavyweight title of the world. However, it also marked his last fight under the name of Cassius Clay. The fight took place at the Convention Hall Miami Beach, Florida, back on February 25, 1964.
Going into the fight as the underdog, Ali managed to shock the world by dethroning the then-reigning champion via a seventh-round TKO. Liston chose to back out of the fight in the seventh round, citing an injury to his shoulder as the reason.
The anti-climactic and abrupt nature of the end of their fight prompted the WBC to set up a rematch between the two almost immediately. The fight took place back on May 25, 1965, at the Central Maine Youth Center in Lewiston, Maine.
However, Muhammad Ali made short work of Sonny Liston in their second outing inside the squared circle, swatting the former champion down in the first round of their clash.
The fight also offered fans one of the most iconic photographs in the sport of boxing. It also marked one of the greatest fights of Ali's career.