I never watched a Muhammad Ali fight live. I was too young, having been born in 1972. I really didn't get into boxing until a brash, violent, and menacing kid named Mike Tyson showed up. But, like most people, I knew the name Ali. Who didn't? His name was iconic.

Like a lot of people, I didn't get to know much about Muhammad until much later in life. And I also didn't know that a young boxer known as Cassius Clay arrived in Miami in the early 60s, trained in our streets, won here one of the biggest upset victories in boxing history and soon changed his name to Ali.

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, 74, passed away Friday night in a Phoenix hospital, miles away from Miami, the city that cemented his glory. But very few can forget that momentous night in 1964, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, when the boxer then known as Cassius Clay made history by defeating reining heavyweight Sonny Liston. 

"I am the king of the world!", screamed the boxer that night after the fight, in what ended up being a prophetic statement at least in the world of professional boxing. 

Charles Trainor Jr. / Miami Herald

Stacey McKinley has trained some of boxing’s top fighters, from Ray Mercer to Mike Tyson.

But it is a 17-year-old Broward high school girl — his first time training a female — that has him pumped up and brought him back to the amateur ring. Chasity Martin is ranked the No. 1 youth female boxer in Florida, and No. 3 in the country. She’s vying for a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympics boxing team.


Before basketball, the sport to behold in Miami was boxing. That love of sport captured the imagination well beyond the sunny sands and palm trees. Fifty years ago this week, Charles "Sonny" Liston fought Cassius Clay for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The beloved 22-year-old boxer from the 5th St. Gym stepped into this fight as Cassius Clay and people say he emerged as Muhammad Ali.

Go back in time, put on your best outfit and take your place beside the ring:

Theo Karantsalis

Barrel-chested Leo Thalassites squints like Clint Eastwood, hops around like Jackie Chan and has been an active cop for nearly six decades. He is 86 years old.

He first joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1956. He moved to the Hialeah Police Department in 1963, where he has been on active duty ever since.  And now, according to the International Police Association, he is the oldest active police officer.