Muhammad Ali: When Boxing’s GOAT Punished Opponent for Refusing to Call Him by His New Name, Video

Muhammad Ali: When Boxing’s GOAT Punished Opponent for Refusing to Call Him by His New Name, Video

Byron Pillay
updated at February 7, 2024 at 7:34 AM
  • Muhammad Ali defeated Ernie Terrell in 1967, but the fight will be remembered for his trash-talking
  • Born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, the former boxing champion changed his name to Muhammad Ali
  • Ali punished Terrell during a title fight after his opponent refused to recognise him by his new name

Muhammad Ali will forever be known as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Known for his trash-talking and ability to back it up, Ali was a former Ring magazine heavyweight title holder from 1964 to 1970.

Muhammad Ali was known for his trash-talking and his ability to back it up.
On this day in 1967, Muhammad Ali gave the world his famous "What's my name?" line during a fight with Ernie Terrell. Image: Chuck Fishman/ Stanley Weston.
Source: Getty Images

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, he was the undisputed champion from 1974 to 1978 and the WBA and Ring heavyweight champion from 1978 to 1979. While Ali gave birth to many great moments, one of the most iconic happened 57 years ago.

Ali demands respect from Ernie Terrell

After converting to Islam in 1964, Ali was briefly called Cassius X until his name was officially changed.

Going by his new Islamic name, Muhammad Ali, he hated when opponents refused to call him on his new name.

During a bout with Ernie Terrell in 1967, the GOAT demanded that his opponent call him by his new name, constantly asking him during the bout, ‘What’s my name?’ Many felt that Ali intentionally punished Terrell for failing to address him by his new title.

RingTV noted that Terrell referred to his opponent as Clay numerous times before the fight.

Ali promised he would make him announce his name in the ring if he didn’t do it during the interviews, and the former champion kept that promise.

Ali cruises to victory over Terrell

While the fight went 15 rounds, Ali cruised to a unanimous decision victory. He constantly shouted the phrase ‘What’s my name?’ during the fight, teaching Terrell a lesson and warning future opponents not to disrespect him.

Ali’s impressive boxing record

Having fought his last bout in 1981 in a losing effort to Trevor Berbick, Ali officially ended his career after 61 pro bouts. He won 56 of those fights and only lost five. Ali won 37 of his 56 wins by knockout, BoxRec confirmed.

Ali named among Top 10 sporting GOATS

Sports Brief reported how Piers Morgan recently revealed his Top 10 list of sports' Greatest of All Time but failed to include Lionel Messi.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner was a notable admission from the list, but his rival Cristiano Ronaldo was included by Morgan.

The Good Morning Britain co-host also included legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, as well as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

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Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.