By Mike Patton
NABJ Black News & Views
Before he was Muhammad Ali, he was Cassius Clay.
The Louisville, Kentucky, native was a talented boxer growing up and he defeated enough opponents to make the U.S. Olympic team in 1960. His validation happened for his selection to the team on Sept. 5, 1960. He defeated three-time European champion Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland by a unanimous points decision. With this win, the young Clay received his first gold medal.