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Fifty years ago, a 22-year-old boxer named Cassius Clay shocked the sporting world by defeating heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in a seventh-round TKO. The fight partially inspired a great John Lee Hooker song, performed here by The Animals: “I’m Mad Again.”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.