For boasting of his greatness
And being quick with a quip,
Cocky young Cassius Clay was
Labeled the “Louisville Lip.”

Reporters dismissed his talk
As him being brash and bold,
But he had bolstered his boasts
By winning Olympic gold.

Unbeaten as a pro by
Nineteen hundred sixty-four,
His nineteen wins included
Boxing legend Archie Moore.

Now, Cassius called out the champ,
He shouted, “Bring on Sonny!
I will whup that ugly bear,
And make me lots of money.”

But the experts all claimed that
Sonny was too big and bad,
They shuddered to consider
What he would do to the lad.

And so, his big title fight
With the champ Liston was set.
It would be a fight they claimed
Big-mouth Clay would soon regret.

On fight night, an anxious crowd
Arrived, expecting a brawl
With the champion Liston’s hand
Raised at the end of it all.

Instead, the crowd did witness
A kid who could move and stick,
Possessing both hands and feet
Amazingly cat-like quick.

The plodding champ’s mighty blows
Were striking nothing but air.
For each time he unloaded,
The quicker Clay was not there.

The challenger’s return fire
Repeatedly found its mark
As the champ flailed aimlessly,
Like a man lost in the dark.

At the bell to start seven,
When Liston did not come out,
Clay was declared the winner
Of his first championship bout.

When informed of the outcome,
Cassius jumped around the ring
As he shouted to the world,
“I am the heavyweight king!”