CLAY, CASSIUS OLYMPIC OFFICIAL PROGRAM (1960)

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Regular price $1,500.00

Cassius Clay as an amateur on the United States Summer Olympics Boxing Team in 1960 in Rome was seen as a favorite to gain a gold medal. Clay's opening fight, against the Belgian Yvon Becaus, was stopped by the referee in the second round. He then beat the Russian Gennadiy Shatkov, who had won middleweight gold medal at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, in a unanimous points decision. In the semi-final Clay faced Australia's Tony Madigan. Again he triumphed in a unanimous decision but many observers felt Madigan was hard done by. A 2010 article in Louisville's Courier-Journal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his gold medal has Bud Palmer, a CBS presenter, saying he felt that Clay had been beaten by the Australian. In the final Clay came up against Zbigniew 'Ziggy' Pietrzykowski, "a portly coffeehouse keeper" from Poland who was somewhere between 25 and 28, depending on whom you believe. The fight before the light-heavyweight final also pitched a Pole against one of the US team. Eddie Crook's victory over Tadeusz Walasek drew furious howls of derision from the crowd packed into the Palazzo della Sport. Their angry cries reached the dressing room, where Clay was in the final stages of his preparation. "The people made me fight harder than I should have," he told the Courier-Journal. "When they booed five minutes after Crook's win and I was the next American in the ring, I knew I had to leave no doubts." Such was Clay's popularity that the crowd's mood seemed to change as soon as he came to the ring. But a resolution to leave no doubt in the mind of the audience and judges was one thing, but putting it into practice against the more experienced and physically stronger Pole was another, as the British journalist John Cottrell recalled: "In the first round, it seemed that Clay would be badly mauled. He was confused by his opponent's southpaw style, took some heavy punishment, and once showed his inexperience by closing his eyes in the face of a barrage of blows. Clay managed to keep out of trouble in the second round, and in the last minute he abandoned his show-off style with the fancy footwork and dropped hands, and stood his ground to throw four hard rights to the head. Even so, he was still behind on points at this stage. 'I knew,' he explained afterwards, 'that I had to take the third round big to win.' "Clay did finish big. In that final round he suddenly found his top form, moving in and out with expert judgment, punching crisply and with perfect timing. This sharper, better co-ordinated Clay stormed back with a torrent of combination punching which left Pietrzykowski dazed. He no longer relied too much on his left jab, but made equal use of his right to penetrate the southpaw's guard. Ripping into the stamina-lacking Pole, he drew blood and came preciously close to scoring a knockout. At the final bell, Pietrzykowski was slumped helplessly against the ropes. There was no doubting the verdict. All the judges made Clay the points winner." He had won his gold medal. Offered here is an original, official boxing program for the 1960 Summer Olympics.
This is an original, 1960 boxing Summer Olympics program which consists of 40 pages with scorecard. It names Clay and other competitors. It has been neatly scored. Tight binding. Clean inside and out with a small pen mark on back cover. Has a center crease. Minor edge and surface wear. 6" x 8 1/4."

Size: 6 x 8 1/4

Condition: very good