Muhammad Ali Screams “What’s My Name” This Day February 6, 1967 vs Terrell
- Muhammad Ali 212¼ lbs
- Ernie Terrell 212½ lbs
- UD in round 15 of 15
- Location: Astrodome, Houston, Texas, USA
- Referee: Harry Kessler 148-137
- Judge: Jimmy Webb 148-133
- Judge: Ernie Taylor 148-137
- Unofficial AP scorecard: 148-137 Ali
- World Heavyweight Title (8th defense by Ali)
- World Boxing Association Heavyweight Title (3rd defense by Terrell)
Ali and Terrell were first scheduled to fight in Chicago, Illinois, on March 29, 1966. However, about six weeks before the fight, Ali’s draft classification was changed from 1-Y to 1-A, making him eligible for the draft. Ali, facing the possibility of being drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War, created a huge uproar by famously saying, “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” He was called before the Illinois State Athletic Commission to apologize for his “unpatriotic remarks.”
Ali appeared before the commission on February 25, but he refused to apologize. Immediately afterward, Illinois State Attorney General William G. Clark declared the bout “illegal.” He cited violations of the Illinois Exhibition Act and the Illinois Boxing Act. “I ran around the country without any luck looking for a state where we could have the fight,” said Bob Arum, who was secretary of Main Bout, a corporation formed to manage the ancillary promotional rights to Ali’s fights. “Finally, I took it to Montreal and then it was Toronto and then Terrell pulled out and we wound up with Ali-Chuvalo.”
A crowd of 37,321 attended the fight at the Astrodome.
The live gate was $400,145.
Ali received 50 percent of the live gate and ancillary rights, which included closed circuit TV and radio. Terrell got 20% of the live gate and 17½ percent of the ancillary rights. Ali earned about $600,000, and Terrell made about $210,000.
Terrell angered Ali before the fight by refusing to call him by his Muslim name, calling him Cassius Clay instead. Ali vowed that he would give Terrell a humiliating beating.
Ali dominated Terrell from start to finish. In the eighth round, Ali started taunting Terrell, asking repeatedly, “What’s my name?”
Ali successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship for the eighth time and regained the WBA title, which had been stripped from him in 1964 after he agreed to a rematch with Sonny Liston in violation of the WBA’s rule against return title bouts.
“Why don’t you call me my name, man?” – Muhammad Ali
“Well, what’s your name? You told me it was Cassius Clay.” – Ernie Terrell
“I never told you my name is Cassius Clay. My name is Muhammad Ali and you will announce it right there in the center of that ring after the fight, if you don’t do it now. You are acting just like an old Uncle Tom, another Floyd Patterson. I’m gonna punish you!” – Muhammad Ali