Ali, This Day in Boxing

Muhammad Ali Beats Doug Jones This Day March 13, 1963


Muhammad Ali Beats Doug Jones This Day March 13, 1963

Cassius Clay Wins Close One



  • Muhammad Ali 202½ lbs
  • Doug Jones 188 lbs
  • UD in 10
  • Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, USA
  • Referee: Joe LoScalzo 8-1
  • Judge: Frank Forbes 5-4
  • Judge: Artie Aidala 5-4


Doug Jones gave Cassius Clay quick notice that he had no intention of falling quickly. Early in the first round, he caught Cassius with a hard right to the jaw that shook the cocky one all over. Clay had just leaned his head back and Jones came through with a right.

Jones also rocked Clay in the fourth and seventh rounds, and at times made the tall, handsome youngster look like a novice. Cassius was often short with his piston-like left jabs and Jones blocked many other punches.

Clay finally penetrated Jones’ guard in the third round with snapping left jabs and fast combinations to the head. But not once did the dead-panned underdog waver under fire.

When the fourth round started, the crowd roared in anticipation. Cassius bared his white mouthpiece and leered at Jones. But Jones didn’t scare a bit. With 15 seconds left in the round, it was evident Jones wasn’t going to fall. The crowd gave out the boos.

After that, it was a battle between two fair heavyweight—neither in the class with champion Sonny Liston.

Jones had the edge going into the ninth.

Then Clay opened up. His hands pumping like pistons, he unleashed barrages of eight and ten punches at a clip.

Jones took it all and replied with punches of his own. Cassius, however, had a big edge in the last two rounds, especially the tenth, when they staged several hot trades to the delight of the crowd.

Unofficial Scorecards:

AP: 5-4-1 Jones

UPI: 6-3-1 Clay

Long Beach Press-Telegram: 7-1-2 Clay

Oakland Tribune: 5-4-1 Jones

AP poll of 15 writers at ringside: 7 for Clay, 5 for Jones and 3 even

UPI poll of 25 writers at ringside: 13 for Jones, 10 for Clay and 2 even



Clay was a 3 to 1 favorite.

A few days before the fight, Clay changed his knockout prediction from six rounds to four rounds.

The fight was shown on closed circuit TV in 40 locations in 38 cities.

A capacity crowd of 18,732 filled Madison Square Garden.

The live gate was $104,943, and the closed circuit telecast brought in about $200,000.

Clay earned about $90,000 and Jones $75,000.

Named The Ring Fight of the Year.



“I didn’t like the picture in the papers of Jones reading a book called The Rise and Fall of Cassius Clay.” – Cassius Clay on why he changed his knockout prediction from six rounds to four rounds.

“I would say I won the fight by about seven rounds to three.” – Cassius Clay

“I thought I won it no worse than 6-3-1.” – Doug Jones

“I thought I was going to finish him in the fourth, but he’s tougher than I thought he was. I understand Liston is watching. When I get back to Miami, I’ll take care of the bum. He’ll fall in eight. I won’t mess around next time.” – Cassius Clay

“I’m not knocking his big mouth. He made me a lot of dough. He talks a lot outside but doesn’t show much in the ring. He better fight me again before he even thinks of Liston.” – Doug Jones

“Clay will be Liston’s next title opponent at Philadelphia in June or July—after we get rid of Floyd Patterson on April 10.” – Jack Nilon, adviser to Sonny Liston

“Clay showed me that I’ll get locked up for murder if we’re ever matched.” – Sonny Liston

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