Muhammad Ali Fights Tunney Hunsaker This Day October 29, 1960
First pro fight of Cassius Clay.
Muhammad Ali 192 lbs
Tunney Hunsaker 186 lbs
UD in round 6 of 6
Location: Freedom Hall, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Referee: Paul Matchuny 30-19
Judge: Sidney Baer 30-24
Judge: Walter Beck 30-23
Olympic light heavyweight champion Cassius Clay of Louisville finished his first professional fight streaked in blood — that of his battered opponent — Tunney Hunsaker.
18-year-old Clay, turning in a classy, confident performance against a heavier and slower opponent last night at Freedom Hall, won every round of the six from the 30-year-old police chief from Fayetteville, W. Va.
At the final bell, Clay, appearing almost as fresh as when he started, was splattered with blood from Hunsaker’s nose and a cut over the West Virginian’s eye. The eye was swollen almost shut after the fight.
Clay, who put behind him a brilliant amateur record, weighed 186 pounds, his heaviest ever, for the fight. Hunsaker came in at 192.
The dancing, fast-moving Clay bloodied Hunsaker’s nose in the third round with a flood of blows and it was the fourth that he opened the cut over his eye.
Although Clay was the master throughout, neither fighter ever had the other in trouble and gave the crowd of 6,180 little to cheer about. Proceeds from the fight went to the Kosair Crippled Children’s Hospital.
Judge Sid Baer ruled 30-24 in Clay’s favor, judge Walter Beck had it 30-23, and referee Paul Matchuny saw it the widest of all — 30-19. The Courier-Journal card showed 30-24.
Clay said after the fight he didn’t get tired at all going six rounds for the first time. “I’m ready to go 10 rounds anytime,” he said. “The extra weight slowed me down just a little bit, not enough to hurt.”
Hunsaker had praise for Clay in his dressing room as he nursed his bruised eye.
“He’s awfully good for an 18-tear-old and as fast as a middleweight,” he said. Hunsaker said he thought he won the first and last rounds and said Clay never hurt him at any time.
Clay received $2,000 for his first pro fight, while Hunsaker got $300.
Hunsaker showed little in the way of an offensive against the lean, 6-foot-3 Clay. Twice he slipped forward to the canvas while throwing punches off balance.
He did a good job of keeping his opponent from landing any real damaging blows but Clay’s constant hammering finally took its toll.
Clay was unmarked except for the blood splotches on his arms and his natty white Olympic trunks. However, he slightly bruised a knuckle on his right hand.
After last night’s fight, in which he was handled by George King, Clay will be taken over by a group of 10 Louisville businessmen, with whom he signed an $18,000 contract last week. They will hire a manager and trainer for him.