Regular price $425.00

Tunney Morgan Hunsaker (September 1, 1930 – April 27, 2005) was the police chief of Fayetteville, West Virginia in 1960 when Hunsaker was Cassius Clay's (now Muhammed Ali) first opponent in a professional boxing bout. After the fight Hunsaker said "Clay was as fast as lightning ... I tried every trick I knew to throw at him off balance but he was just too good". In his autobiography, Ali said Hunsaker dealt him one of the hardest body blows he ever took in his career. Ali and Hunsaker became good friends and stayed in touch over the years. Hunsaker said he did not agree with Ali's decision to refuse military service, but praised him as a great humanitarian and athlete. Hunsaker ended up with a record of 17 wins with 15 defeats with 8 wins by way of KO (as of boxrec). His career ended after a head injury in 1962. Hunsaker was in a coma for nine days and suffered the physical effects for the rest of his life. He was 74 when he died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. He was a Journeyman with more wins than defeats. In his private life, Hunsaker was active in the Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene for many years, teaching a Sunday School class for fifth and sixth grade boys. At the time of his death in 2005, he had been married to wife Patricia for over thirty years. Hunsaker was the youngest police chief in the history of West Virginia, at age 27. He was later inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall Of Fame. A hobby of his was to turn the traffic signals off during rush hour and after the high school football games to direct traffic, something that became somewhat of a sport to him and an expected occurrence to residents. The Tunney Hunsaker Bridge (former U.S. 19 Bridge) crossing the New River Gorge has been named after him. Offered here is a one page typed letter, signed by Tunney Hunsaker in which he discusses in detail his fight with Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay). He states in part, "Ali, no doubt, was and is the greatest boxer of all times. He was very fast and I knew he was destined to be great. That I lost a decision to him means a lot to me. He knocked out many who followed me. He is also a gentleman for whom I have every respect. I was disappointed when he didn't serve his country but I must respect his courage to take his stand as he paid a price to do what he believed was right."
This is a one page, typed letter dated September 2, 1998 with a bold signature at the bottom. Clean front and back. Not creased or torn. An exceptional letter from the first professional opponent of Cassius Clay. 8 1/2" x 11."

Size: 8 1/2 x 11

Condition: near mint