Boxing great Muhammad Ali became a news sensation a year before he ever won his first world heavyweight title in 1964, beating Sonny Liston in six rounds with a technical knockout. Ali, a convert to the Nation of Islam, dropped his birth name, Cassius M. Clay Jr., after this match. In a boxing career that would span two decades, Ali compiled a 56–5 win-loss record, and many considered him the greatest heavyweight champion ever. His colorful, jaunty personality had much to do with his stellar media attraction. And his lyrical prefight taunts and predictions—"if he gives me some jive, I’ll end it in five"—kept boxing fans and nonfans alike engaged and smiling.