For years Muhammad Ali was history in motion, headed in the right direction, turning the improbable into victories we hadn't thought possible. It couldn't last forever, but to see that it could be done, that was something else. That was hope made flesh, and for longer than anybody expected, it could not be stopped.-- Long before his dazzling footwork and punching prowess made him a three-time world heavyweight boxing champion known as Muhammad Ali, a young Cassius Clay honed his skills by sparring with neighborhood friends and running alongside the bus on the way to school.The man who became the world's most recognizable athlete was a baby sitter, a jokester and a dreamer in the predominantly black West End neighborhood of Louisville where he grew up and forged lasting friendships while beginning his ascent toward greatness.The Return. The Superfights What any boxer "should" be doing is winning, and Cassius Clay was perhaps no more inventive or flamboyant than he needed to be to rack up victory after victory to ever-increasing public acclaim. Consider the first, shocking title fight with Sonny Liston (shocking because the seven-to-one underdog Clay won so handily and the seemingly unbeatable champion ignominiously quit on his stool after six rounds): the younger boxer simply out-boxed, out-punched, out-danced, out-maneuvered and out-psyched his older opponent. What an upset in boxing history, on February 25, 1964! This fight is fascinating to watch, like a dramatized collision of two generations/two eras/two cultures; a fairy tale in which the audacious young hero dethrones the ogre exactly according to the young hero's predictions.