Location:Home > slippers > etc). These are the photos that the Courier Journal has. The text consists of tagline photo caption

etc). These are the photos that the Courier Journal has. The text consists of tagline photo caption

Time:2018-12-21 03:13Shoes websites Click:

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The image has been fixed in the consciousness of fight fans for more than a half-century: a 12-year-old boy wearing boxing trunks, fight shoes and socks, standing on a crude wood platform. It's the first known photograph of Cassius Clay in a boxing pose and was taken for the Louisville Courier Journal by a photographer named Charley Pence.

That photo and many more from the Courier Journal archives are in a new book entitled "Picture: Muhammad Ali." Warren Winter, who oversaw the undertaking on behalf of publisher PSG, notes that the newspaper chronicled Ali's life for more than six decades and estimates that he reviewed well over 10,000 Ali images in the course of the project.

Louisville was always close to Ali's heart. In the ring, moments after defeating Joe Frazier in their climactic third fight in Manila, an exhausted Ali proclaimed, "I want everybody to know that I'm the greatest fighter of all times and the greatest city of all times is Louisville, Kentucky."

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Add to that the fact that the Courier Journal was nationally known for excellence in photo-journalism in the second half of the 20th century (its staff was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in 1976), and one has a good marriage.

"Picture: Muhammad Ali" has superb production values. It's a 296-page hardcover book printed on hard glossy stock, 9.25-by-12.4 inches in size with a list price of $59.95. The photographs are divided into eight sections entitled "Young Ali," "Miami," "Home," "Deer Lake," "vs. Spinks," "Retirement," "Bahamas" and "The Later Years."

One might ask why Ali vs. George Foreman in Zaire is missing while Ali-Berbick in the Bahamas gets a whole section. The answer is that staff photographers were given specific assignments (e.g. to photograph Ali while he was training for a particular fight at Deer Lake, to photograph Ali at home with his family, etc). These are the photos that the Courier Journal has.

The text consists of tagline photo captions, a few short essays and quotes from Ali. The essays are thin and sometimes factually inaccurate (e.g. Ali fought Joe Frazier three times, not twice). But this book is about the photos. And the photos are wonderful. Each one creates a nice sense of the moment.

As for 12-year-old Cassius Clay ... Pence's photo was published for the first time in the Nov. 11, 1954, edition of the Courier Journal with a caption that read, "Flyweight Cassius M. Clay will be making his first fight tomorrow night when he appears on the weekly WAVE-TV amateur boxing program but he is being billed in the feature match. He meets Ronnie O'Keefe, little brother of light-heavyweight James W. O'Keefe."

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Bill Luster (a retired staff photographer) says of Pence, "Charley was a gruff old man. At least, he seemed old to me at the time. And he was a good man. He did a lot of sports photography for the paper, college and high school sports. I liked him."

Tom Hardin (who retired from the Courier Journal after serving as a staff photographer and director of photography, recalls, "I worked with Charley when I was new at the paper. He was senior at the time. He had a dry sense of humor. He was dedicated to his job. He didn't suffer fools gladly. He was a good guy who knew what he was doing. You could always count on him to get the job done."

MORE: The history of the mouthpiece in boxing

Pence had no way of knowing in 1954 that the 12-year-old boy he was photographing would become the most famous person on the face of the earth. Nor could he have imagined that the photograph he was taking would be reproduced millions of times, giving him his own slice of immortality. But he lived long enough to see both of these improbabilities come to pass.

What did that mean to him?

"I don't recall Charley talking about that photograph," Tom Hardin says. "He might have said, 'I knew him when he was a kid.' But that was all."

And what about Ronnie O'Keefe, Clay's opponent on Nov. 11, 1954?

It was the first and last bout of O'Keefe's ring sojourn. Decades later, he would recall, "I weighed 89 pounds, and he weighed about the same. The fight was three rounds, a minute a round. And he hit me a whole lot more than I hit him. I had a heck of a headache that night. He won by a split decision. And right after he was announced the winner by the referee, he started shouting that he was going to be the greatest fighter ever. He was heavyweight champion of the world already, at 12 years old and 89 pounds."

Thomas Hauser's new email address is thomashauserwriter@gmail.com. His most recent book – Protect Yourself at All Times – was published by the University of Arkansas Press. In 2004, the Boxing Writers Association of America honored Hauser with the Nat Fleischer Award for career excellence in boxing journalism.

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