On this day in 1964, Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, became the world heavyweight champion. The 22-year-old challenger from Louisville, Ky., defeated Charles "Sonny" Liston in a technical knockout after six rounds at Convention Hall in Miami Beach, Fla.
In the photo above Clay throws a third round, straight left to the face of Liston in a match that would go down as one of the most important fights in boxing history.
Cassius Clay's handlers hold him back as he reacts to the announcement that he's the new heavyweight champion of the world.
After winning the fight, Clay shouted "I shook up the world," but several days later he shocked it as well when he announced he was changing his name and joining the Nation of Islam, one of the most controversial organizations in the United States at the time.
"That’s the fight that created Muhammad Ali," said Ramiro Ortiz, boxing historian and president of HistoryMiami, in a recent interview with the Miami Herald. "Muhammad Ali transcended sports and is still to this day and has been for 40 years, the most recognizable face on Planet Earth."
First published February 25 2014, 6:10 AM
Jon Sweeney joined NBCNews.com as a senior multimedia producer in January 2012, but this is a return visit for him, having worked for msnbc.com from 2000-2006. Sweeney is responsible for site-wide photo editing and social media initiatives focused on photography. Currently he manages the NBC News Instagram account among his other individual responsibilities. Sweeney reports to Jim Collins, director of photography.
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Sweeney returned to NBCNews.com from The Indianapolis Star, where he was the assistant managing editor for digital news. In that role, Sweeney was responsible for the editorial direction for the stateâ€™s largest newsroom on all its digital platforms. This included managing breaking news coverage, multimedia, special projects, design initiatives, and databases. During his tenure at the Star, he helped launch the paperâ€™s first iOS app, guided the newsroom through the social media revolution and produced several documentary films in cooperation with the local public broadcasting station.
Prior to his work at the Star, Sweeney was msnbc.comâ€™s East Coast director of multimedia, managing a department of designers, interactive producers, and photo and video editors in New Jersey and London.
He cut his teeth as a photojournalist and freelance photographer in Chicago where he ushered in the digital photography era at Pioneer Press Newspapers, and learned digital video editing by producing documentaries.
Sweeney is the recipient of several awards that honor his achievements as a digital newsroom leader and innovator from the Associate Press, Hoosier State Press Association, Best of Gannett.
He lives in Cranford, N.J. with his family.